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‘Govt must give security forces free hand to uncover Ige’s killers’

Lagos—Eminent lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigerian (SAN), Lateef Fagbemi, has called on the Federal Government to bring the killers of late Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, to justice.

Delivering the 2016 Late Chief Bola Ige Memorial Symposium, titled  Political Killings And Our Criminal Justice System: The Impediments in Lagos yesterday, Fagbemi noted that politics, which is a dominant feature of democracy, had ironically become a harbinger of sorrow, pain and unwarranted deaths.

He said politicians had over the years, cultivated the habit of settling political scores by resorting to political assassination.

Fagbemi said: “Chief James Ajibola Ige, SAN was no doubt, a political colossus, whose reputation and personality have remained engraved in the political psyche of Nigerians, since he busted into the political scene a few years before independence.

‘’To me, ‘Uncle Bola’, as we fondly called him was a perfect blend of the sagacity of Chief Obafemi Awolowo; the oratory prowess of Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe and the selflessness of Sir Ahmadu Bello.

Late Bola Ige

“Little wonder that his death was one of the reasons the central government of the PDP rode roughshod over almost the entire South Western Nigeria, excluding Lagos, in the 2003 general elections.

‘’It is a truism that it would have been impossible for the PDP to win all the South western states of Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo if Uncle Bola were to be alive. His death was indeed a killer arrow delivered right into the heart of the A.D. (Alliance for Democracy). The party never recovered from that great loss ever since.”

“It is instructive to state that before the assassination of Chief Bola Ige, barely a week before the end of the first year in the new millennium, Nigeria had, around those periods, witnessed series of politics related killings, which the nation was by then already drenched in blood of the innocents.

‘’It was as if a new chapter of political murders was equally opened to go with the advent of the 4th Republic.

“Prominent political figures and actors were gunned down in their prime.    It needs be said that political killings was/is not peculiar to Nigeria; what however, marked out Nigeria is the fact that the murderers are hardly found.

‘’The more the killings, the easier it was for the perpetrators to walk away freely.    As shall be shown later in this paper, the assassination of Chief Bola Ige, represents the height of insensitivity of the powers-that-be to tackle the recurring monster that had bedeviled our political landscape.

‘’One can only hope that foray like this will help to continuously sensitize the government that the security of lives is the primary responsibility of any serious government.”

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