A Country Where There Is No Justice


Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues




October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



LUNARPAGES.COM and IPOWERWEB.COM - Despicable WebHosts - Read My Story





A Country Where There Is No Justice




Simon Kolawole




culled from THISDAY, July 30, 2006



The wicked have done their worst. They have killed the flesh of Anthony Olufunsho Williams, unable to touch his amiable soul. Such a gentleman. You really had to strain your ears to hear him talk. Why anyone would choose to kill a harmless man is beyond common sense. It’s of no use speculating, but there are some possibilities we can easily eliminate. One, he did not commit suicide. Two, it was not a case of armed robbery. I am yet to hear of robbers who tie the hands of their victims, butcher them, strangle them, and then walk away without taking any possession. Was it a business deal gone awry? Maybe. But I do not intend to believe such a suggestion. The circumstances leading to the murder of the politician are simply too suspicious. For the life of me, I am disposed to believe that the killing was politically motivated.

If indeed that was the case, we can reason that it was an act of desperation. I will not be surprised if he was killed by the cowards in his own party. The PDP has done more damage to democracy than any other party in the history of Nigeria. It is one party where things are never done decently. And this is rubbing off on other parties in the land. Every known principle of democracy is being violated and ridiculed by the PDP at all levels, from ward to state to national. This is one party that holds universally accepted principles of democracy in absolute contempt. Party positions, even at ward level, are filled from Abuja. State and national chairmen emerge through some crude form of abracadabra. Candidates, even for councillorship positions, are handpicked from Abuja. We are now reaping the fruits of this bastardisation of democracy.

If Williams was killed by desperate party members, we can say this is the climax, or the anti-climax, of the PDP credo: seek ye first the ticket of PDP, and INEC and security agencies will add other things to you. The word going round since 2003, when PDP failed to “capture” Lagos the same way it had “captured” the other South-west states, is that Lagos must be taken by “any means necessary” in 2007. The big masquerade himself is said to have vowed that when he has finished voting in the governorship election in his state next year, he will storm Lagos with all his might to personally lead the “capture” of the state. Word has been going round all the while that no matter what happens, PDP will “capture” Lagos State in 2007. This is the sort of mindset that feeds the desperation for the party’s ticket. That is why the internal competition in Lagos PDP has been too explosive. The PDP primaries, to them, are the most important. Whoever emerges is automatically the next governor of Lagos, no matter how the people vote. The intrigues have been too dirty and scary.

When Seye Ogunlewe was made Minister of Works, the calculation of the Abuja manipulators of democracy was that they needed a “mad man” to give Governor Bola Tinubu a hard time. They did not know that Ogunlewe himself would later aspire to governorship. I remember attending a breakfast meeting with him in Ikoyi shortly after his appointment. We asked him pointedly: will you go for governorship? His response was straightforward: “No, I’m an old man. I will support Funsho Willaims instead.” That was over two years ago. But then, Ogunlewe empowered himself with FERMA and sent Lagos into a dizzying spin, with the full compliment of newly trained thugs and federal security forces. FERMA, which is supposed to be a road maintenance agency, suddenly equated itself with traffic police, ministry of environment and even sanitary inspectors all at once. It pleased Ogunlewe’s masters in Abuja, who clinked glasses and popped champagne, as he went on the rampage.
But when Ogunlewe began to show interest in the governorship, having built an enormous support base for himself with FERMA contracts, some people became very uncomfortable with him in the PDP. Williams was the most likely number one choice of the PDP gods. So Ogunlewe needed to be neutralised. The first step was to appoint Williams as the chairman of the monstrously lucrative Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), a position Ali Must Go had reserved for his dearly beloved wife before Punch blew the lid off the secret behind “Mrs A. Maryam”—a name carefully juggled to deceive Nigerians. The appointment was obviously intended to give Williams the war chest for his campaign. The next step was to remove, without any ceremony, Ogunlewe as Minister of Works and replace him with Dr. Femi Anibaba, who was heading one of Williams’ committees for 2007 campaign. It all looked like Williams had been favoured again by the PDP gods to take the Lagos ticket. I was, therefore, one of the least surprised Nigerians when crisis engulfed the Lagos PDP.

Back to the original question: who killed Williams? Chances are, police will never get to the root of the matter. No single case of assassination has been resolved in the history of Nigeria. There will be a lot of drama. Some area boys, who have been in police cells for three years, will be paraded in court as the suspects. Then the case will drag until we hear nothing of it again. Anytime anyone is assassinated in Nigeria, the sequence of events is always the same. First, there will be a pronouncement by police authorities that the killers will not go scot-free. Then, a probe will be headed by an AIG or something of that nature. Next, there will be an announcement of reward to the public for information on the killers. Next, the police chief will announce that some suspects have been arrested. Then some luckless riffraff will be paraded before journalists. Case closed.

I have enough evidence to back my claim. I can go back in time to the annulled Third Republic, when George Idah, the then chairman of Oredo local government, was killed in cold blood by those I believe have become prominent politicians today. Case closed. Marshall Harry, who decamped from the PDP to ANPP, was killed in Abuja in a case police tried to disguise as armed robbery. The then IG, Tafa Balogun, even added his own drama by saying he had recovered a cheque from the suspects. That would have gone, unchallenged, into the Guinness Book of World Records: the first time armed robbers would accept a cheque from their victim. It turned out that Tafa was only joking as Harry’s family revealed that they were the ones that turned in the cheque to the police. Tafa’s dramatics, of course, were intended to please some people.

AK Dikibo, the former vice chairman (South-south) of PDP, was also killed in cold blood. What was his sin? We do not know. But after teaming up with Atiku Abubakar’s faction of PDP, he was removed as chairman of Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). He did not give a hoot. He was one of the few PDP chieftains who supported Dr. Chris Ngige, the former governor of Anambra State, in the heat of the resignation crisis, even when his counterpart in the South-east, Fidelis Ozichukwu, was with the vultures. Dikibo was on his way to a PDP meeting (Atiku’s faction, that is) in Delta State when he was assassinated. There is enough reason to believe that Harry and Dikibo were killed by the same forces of darkness who spend the better part of the day singing praises to “God” and the night dining with the devil. These cases appear to be closed by now, Nigerian style. It is indeed very sad that those who perpetrated these evils, including the police bigwigs who allegedly provided the cover for the murderers, are today aspiring to higher positions in Nigeria. I even learnt one of them has been “favoured” to become a governor in 2007. That is Nigeria.
The list of unresolved murder/assassination cases is fairly long: Barnabas Igwe (and his wife), the lawyer who belonged to the wrong political persuasion in Mbadinuju’s Anambra; Ogbonnaya Uche (OGB), an Imo politician who dared to tread where angels fear; Jerry Agbeyegbe (where is the so-called prostitute found with him? What happened to the filling station guards who were paraded as suspects before the press?); Ahmad Pategi, former Kwara PDP chairman, killed, obviously, by those desperate to take over the party; Isyaku Mohammed, chairman of the then newly-registered United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNP) in Kano State; and the wife of Abubakar Rimi, whose case the police dramatised to high heavens, to the extent of sending a “crack” team headed by an AIG to investigate (so, what is the outcome of all that, fellow Nigerians?)

My star witness is the assassination of Chief Bola Ige. It is the most shameful thing that has happened in the life of this administration. A serving minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was killed like a goat in his own bedroom. Up till today, there is no head or tail in the investigation. It was the same pattern: assassination, outrage, offer of reward for information, high-powered police probe, threats to deal with perpetrators, parade of some fall guys before the press and… case closed! The Ige story was all the more pathetic because the government that he chose to serve—in order to spite Afenifere—let him down in his death.

When the Afenifere and Alliance for Democracy (AD), in an overwhelming display of ethnic bias, ensured that Obasanjo was thoroughly humiliated in the South-west at the presidential polls in 1999 because they said he was being imposed on the Yoruba by the Hausa-Fulani elite, the Ota farmer simply plotted a strategy to break this solidarity. He found a ready accomplice in Ige, who was very bitter that AD did not pick him as its presidential flagbearer. Obasanjo appointed him minister and succeeded with his plot: Yoruba politics was fractured and the solidarity was broken forever. Ige created the Yoruba Elders’ Council (YCE). The rest, as they say, is history. But why was Ige murdered? We would never know. Those who killed him were cowards who could never win a fair debate, who could never triumph in an open contest. They must always resort to bestiality.

Now that Williams has been killed, will there ever be justice? That is the question. Abubakar Tsav, the retired police chief, said during the week that if the authorities are really interested, they will fish out the killers. He knows what he is saying: he was the one that handled the investigation into the assassination of Dele Giwa in 1986. As soon as he turned in his report which reportedly indicted the big wigs, he was transferred to Bendel State. Case closed. Twenty years after, we are still asking: who killed Dele Giwa? Those who killed him are still alive and aspiring to lead Nigeria. We are living in a country where there is no justice. The murderers of yesterday are the leaders of today. The murderers of today will become leaders in 2007. That is the way life goes in my fatherland.
This is the time for everybody to take personal security more serious. Journalists and commentators should not think they have immunity. Desperate men can do anything. We live in a country where there is no chance of justice. And since there is no justice, criminals will always have their way. It’s a shame.



Editor's note:  Funsho Williams was killed in the early morning of July 27, 2006


horizontal rule

© 1999 - 2006 Segun Toyin Dawodu. All rights reserved. All unauthorized copying or adaptation of any content of this site will be liable to  legal recourse.

Contact:   webmaster@dawodu.com

Segun Toyin Dawodu, P. O. BOX 710080, HERNDON, VA  20171-0080, USA.

This page was last updated on 10/27/07.