Still On The Richard Oganiru Murder Tale
He was on his way to France. He was stopped at the airport. He was arrested. He was accused of being in possession of hard drugs. The media got wind of it, and the next minute, all you would see when you searched him on google was the drug story. Even me, the careful one, joined the frenzy. However, as days passed, the story proved false.
But Baba Suwe's name was already soiled. It was an embarrassed group of bloggers that changed their stories and made Baba the protagonist than antagonist (actor than boss, if you like). I was unfortunately one of the deceived bloggers.
You could therefore forgive me for being a bit more careful when this story about actor Richard Oganiru (formerly Azuh) came up. As was told, he poisoned his supposedly wealthy wife, got arrested and allegedly confessed to the crime. The story was shocking. They even said his first wife died under equally fishy circumstance. As expected, the whole social network circulated the story and respondents suddenly had lots to say. They said he looked proud, unfriendly, dubious and even wicked. They said this automatically meant he must have committed the 'crime'. Yet, in the comfort of my thoughts, I was not so sure. I did not want to be embarrassed like I was during the Baba Suwe saga. I wanted to be sure before I talked.
I felt I had made the right choice when I gathered he had been released from the cell. Released, I wondered. Do they release murderers? I still kept mute. I wanted to get to the root of this.
When Mr Oganiru finally spoke, I knew I had made the right decision.
"My wife was battling fibroid and we went to TB Joshua's synagogue in Lagos," he revealed. "My wife refused and said she preferred to be taken to the hospital instead. So together with her brother Group captain David we rushed her to the hospital but she gave up the ghost just at the gate of the military hospital." This was against tales that he poisoned the wife on the hospital bed. According to him, the woman died at the gate. She didn't even make it to the hospital bed!
He further revealed how his wife's family maltreated and harassed him.
He narrated how he suffered in the cell. He told us how he was released.
"Let me tell you, my wife was a hardworking woman but about being rich, I don't know, otherwise why did we scrape to the bone to find money for her treatment?," he asked. This was to address the accusation he killed the wife in order to acquire her wealth. "We live in a rented apartment, so I don't know the property I killed her for that I wanted to inherit."
He even had something to say about his first wife that 'died' mysteriously:
"The callous people said I also killed my two former wives. My ex-wife is alive, healthy and bubbling with my two children," he said. So which wife did he kill, if the first wife was alive?
While trying not to sound so supportive of Mr Oganiru (whether or not he is guilty, I do not know), I cannot but imagine the pain he would be passing through now. Millions of Nigerians may have heard about his supposed murder of his wife but probably less than a thousand would hear his denial. Even less would hear of his release. Simply put, we have seen yet another disadvantage of the social media. While people have criticised the social media in the wake of Cynthia Osokogu's murder by her "facebook friends", this is yet another problem. Mr Oganiru's story graced almost every blog in the country (almost, considering mine and a few others). Now, he would have lots to do to change people's perception of him. When he enters the church, when he goes to the market, when he goes on location to shoot a movie, this story would go with him.
Mr Oganiru's story does not in any way run parallel with a few others out there. However, this is an issue of life and death and is surely going to linger for a while.
I wish him all the best as he fights this battle. If he is guilty, he will be found out. But if he is not, as you may accuse me of trying to imply, then he would surely be vindicated. What however cannot be erased is the public odium this scandal has caused him. I'm glad I was never part of it.