FREED REWANE SUSPECT: I'M HAPPY MY LIFE IS BACK
Reprieve came the way of a young man, Elvis Irenuma, this week on Wednesday June 3, 2010, at the Lagos High Court as he was discharged and acquitted 15 years after he was arrested and subsequently kept on awaiting trial for the murder of late Pa Alfred Rewane.
Elvis Irenuma who was discharged and acquitted by Justice Olusola Williams, however is the only lucky one yet to get freedom out of the surviving trio of the seven men initially arrested in connection with the late elder statesman's murder.
Irenuma who was late Rewane's driver was arrested along with six others including Lucky Igbinovia, Effiong Elemi-Edu, Sylvester Eyasele, Saturday Ogbeide, Sunday Obanobi and Ola Obanosun .
However, Eyasele, Ogbeide, Obanobi and Obasun lost their lives in prison while awaiting trial and due to torture during interrogation for the murder . His two surviving co-travelers on the long road to justice and freedom, Lucky Igbinovia and Effiong Elemi-Edu are still hoping to savour the air of freedom outside the foreboding walls of Kirikiri Maximum Security prisons.
Irenuma who was clad in a print tie and die top over black pants, burst into tears of joy and profusely thanked God for his release, when the judgment was delivered. But according to him, his joy is not complete as Elemi-Edu and Igbinovia, his brothers in trial are yet to breathe the air of freedom.
'I'm very, very happy, at least I can get my life back and I give thanks to God who has been my pillar of strength. But I have some few regrets, my friends are still there and I'm still praying for their release, so right now my joy is not yet full. It will be full when my friends are out. But all the same, I give all glory to God.'
Before providence smiled on Irenuma, over the last 15 years, he and the two others have had over 200 court appearances, faced 50 military tribunals and 'many heart breaking adjournments' as Effiong put it when he appeared on July 24, 2009 at the Lagos High Court.
Effiong was arrested by men from the State Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja at Mafoluku Oshodi on his way to buy Suya for his new bride on the night of November, 11, 1995, weeks after the murder of the elder statesman. Igbinovia on his part worked as a security man at Rewane's residence at the time of the incident.