By Ben Efe
Since Ambrose Monye’s conviction for murder by a South African court during the week in Pretoria, Nigerians have been wondering if he was the same Jude Monye a distinguished quartermiler who made Nigeria proud at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
The convicted Monye who has been living in South Africa since the late 1990’s for over a year was standing trial for the murder of Channelle Henning. He was more of a fringe athlete during his days in the local Athletics Federation Classics, he struggled to make a mark in the hurdles, but it seems his mind was more on living on the fast lane. He is a total contrast from Jude Monye who is often very reserved and hardly spoke to the media.
Jude Monye was a member of the Nigerian 4x400m quartet who won silver at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and last year the International Olympics Committee upgraded that silver to a gold following the disqualification of the USA team. Accordingly, the Nigeria team featuring late Sunday Bada, Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye, Enefiok Udo-Obong were awarded N5m each by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.
All this time Ambrose Monye was battling to get himself free from the murder trap in South Africa. He was never anywhere near the Olympic Games at anytime as it was being erroneously believed by the media in South Africa. Ambrose who ran a security firm called ‘Big Dog” had lied to South African investigators that he represented Nigeria at the Olympics in Seoul 88 just to get a little recognition.
Speaking on the development former African long jump champion and current national record holder, Yusuf Alli said that Ambrose Monye was never a serious athlete.
“Oh! he never wore the green and white at anytime. Back then he was just like a drifter and we used to call him Shaba Ranks because of his fast life.
“He is in no way related to Jude Monye and it is quite unfortunate that he is being linked with a serious crime in South Africa,” said Yusuf who was captain of the Nigerian team to most of the international games.
Ambrose, it was gathered, settled in South Africa after he got married to a police officer’s daughter there. But apparently he refused to walk on the right side of life; he was refereed to by investigators as the “Kingpin of Pretoria underworld” he went about with hefty body guards.
Before the last case of murder, he had been on trial for another murder case, after he allegedly beat a man to death; but was able to extricate himself from the charge. In the fresh charge, he denied involvement for months, but along with his fellow accused confessed to being involved in the murder of the 26-year-old Henning.
She was shot in Faerie Glen, in the east of Pretoria on November 8, 2011 just after she dropped her son at a creche. At that time, Channelle and her estranged husband, Nick Henning had been locked in a custody battle.
Mr Henning was picked up by law enforcement agents in December after his best friend, Gouws told the court that Henning offered him a million Rands to have his wife killed. Gouws also told the court that he offered Monye R 50,000 to find killers who would do the job.
The killers, Gerhardus (Doepie) du Please and Willem (Tattoo or Pike) Pieterse are already serving 18-year jail terms, following their guilty pleas to the murder charge.