I Didn't Kill Bola Ige, Ministerial Nominee Tells Senate
I can swear by the Quran, he insists BEVERLY HILLS, February 13, (THEWILL) - The age-long controversy surrounding the brutal murder of former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, re-echoed on the Senate floor on Thursday.
A ministerial nominee from Osun State, Alhaji Abduljelili Oyewale Adesiyan, while answering questions on the matter, made spirited effort to clear his name from accusation that allegedly linked him to the brutal murder of the former Justice Minister.
Ige was assassinated in his Bodija home, Ibadan on December 23, 2001.
The Senate resumed the screening of ministerial nominees which it started on Wednesday.
Former Adamawa State governor, Mr.
Boni Haruna, was the first to appear before the Senate for his screening.
However, the question of who killed Bola Ige resonated when it got to the turn of Adesiyan .
Senate President, David Mark,had in his usual manner, asked Adesiyan to make personal explanation especially those things that were not included in his curriculum vitae which he submitted to the Senate.
Adesiyan, who was nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan from Osun State thanked 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 the death of Chief Bola Ige.
'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 said.
Adesiyan described the late Bola Ige as his political mentor whom he had no reason whatsoever to kill.
There was sustained murmuring in the chamber as Adesiyan appeared to be emotional in his explanation.
Senator Ehigie Uzamere (Edo South) interjected, raised his hand and was recognised by Mark.
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.
' Some Senators protested and shouted that the Senate chamber is not a place of worship or a shrine.
Others said that there was no Quran in the chamber but Uzamere was not intimidated by the protest of some of his colleagues.
'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?' Uzamere asked the nominee.
As the protest in the chamber continued, Uzamere insisted that Adesiyan should answer the questions and the Senate President asked Adesiyan to respond.
In his response, Adesiyan thanked Uzamere for the questions.
He 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 Alliance for Democracy (AD), I changed to Peoples Democratic Party (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.
' On his part, Haruna told the Senate that he was subjected to the most harrowing inquiry by the anti-graft agencies.
He said that he was happy that a judgment had been given in his favour over the allegation of corruption.
The judgment, he said, vindicated him that 'you can go to public office and come out clean.
' On how to achieve peace in the North East geo-political zone, the former governor said the peace project should be every body's project.
On corruption, he said that the problem of the country is attitudinal, explaining that the best way to fight corruption is to always ensure honesty of purpose.
Haruna who was praised by the three Senators from his State for uncommon achievements during his period as governor told the Senate that for eight years he was governor he did not take security vote.
Apart from Haruna and Adesiyan the Senate screened two other nominees, Dr.
Khaliru Alhassan (Sokoto) and Dr.
Danagogo (Rivers) However, Hadjia Jamilla Salik (Kano) and Asabe Asmau Ahmed (Niger) did not appear.