Friday, February 14, 2014

Senators grill ministerial nominee over Bola Ige’s death

A ministerial nominee from Osun State, Oyewale Adesiyan, on Thursday made spirited effort to clear his name from the accusation that linked him to the murder of a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige. Ige was assassinated in his Bodija home, Ibadan on December 23, 2001. The drama started when Senate President David Mark asked Adesiyan to give more personal information that were not included in his curriculum vitae which he submitted to the Senate. The nominee commended the senators for the opportunity offered him to stand before them to speak as a ministerial nominee. He noted that he was one of those wrongly accused to have had a hand in Ige’s death. He said, “It may interest you distinguished senators to know that I am one of those wrongly accused to have had a hand in the death of my mentor, Chief Bola Ige. “It was all political blackmail because I knew nothing about the death of Chief Bola Ige. I was detained for three and half years for something I knew nothing about. “I stand here to say that I knew nothing about the death of Chief Bola Ige.” He described the late Ige as his political mentor whom he had no reason to kill. His submissions generated reactions among the senators including Senator Ehigie Uzamere (Edo South) who interjected by raising up his hand to seek Mark’s permission to question Adesiyan. Mark granted his request. Uzamere said, “Mr. Nominee, you mentioned in the course of your speech the death of Chief Bola Ige. Can you swear by the Quran that you do not know anything about the death of Bola Ige?” The question was protested by some of the senators who shouted that the Senate was not a place of worship or a shrine where such oath could be taken. But Uzamere added, “You said that you did not kill Bola Ige, that you were accused wrongly and detained for three and half years. We are in the same boat because I was also detained. “The question I want you to answer is, did you kill Bola Ige? Did you have anything to do with the death of Bola Ige? If the Holy Quran is not here as some senators said, I want to ask you did you kill Bola Ige? What do you know about the death of Bola Ige?” The protest persisted in the chamber but, Uzamere insisted that Adesiyan should answer the questions and this made the Senate President to demand a response from Adesiyan. Adesiyan said, “I thank Senator Uzamere for his questions. I do not know whether I can be availed with a copy of the Holy Quran. But I maintain and say that I did not kill Chief Bola Ige. “I did not have any reason to kill Chief Bola Ige but I was wrongly fingered to have killed him. Chief Bola Ige sent me to United States for education, he was my mentor. I am saying it today if Chief Bola Ige gave money to anybody, it is my family and I. “The reason I was fingered was because as the Assistant Secretary of the Alliance for Democracy, I changed (defected) to the PDP. Because of that, I was fingered and punished as having something to do with the assassination of Chief Bola Ige. “When I was in detention, I used to pinch myself whether I was dreaming because I had nothing to do with the death of Chief Bola Ige. It was all calculated political blackmail.” Apart from Adesiyan, other ministerial nominees screened by the Senate on Thursday were a former governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan (Sokoto) and Dr. Tamuno, Danagogo (Rivers). Hajia Hadjia Jamilla Salik (Kano) and Asabe Ahmed (Niger) did not appear for the screening

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