Dele Giwa: Shameful Conspiracy Puts Murder Blame On Newswatch Staff–A concocted conspiracy theory aimed at dribbling the established murderer of former Newswatch Publisher and putting the blame on an innocent staff of the establishment has emerged with a major outcry meeting such conspiracy.
Mr Sunmonu Oladele Giwa(aka Dele Giwa) was assassinated by a parcel bomb in 1986 just as he was having lunch with a guest, the Magazine’s London Correspondence, Mr Kayode Soyinka. Soyinka escaped death by luck as the memory of the experience lives with him till today.
In an attempt to shift attention from the established principal suspects of the murder, one of the stakeholders of investigation into the crime, a former Deputy inspector General of Police has come up with a major twist Nigerians have called corporate lies, deliberate falsification and high level complicity aimed at calculated blackmail of the Magazine staff.
According to Chris Omeben, a former Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), who was responsible for the investigation as a sitting-in officer investigating the crime at the time, investigation was stalled due to interference from top government official.
Chris Omeben who for several years has paraded himself now as a man in God’s own ministry made the claim creating an artificial twist into investigation of the crime.
As the landmark crime reaches its 30 years and no investigation had taken place, the Nigerian press are heating-up the atmosphere, putting the blame on the nation’s established culture of impunity which has made the major suspect in the crime (a former military leader) and frontline Northern elite escape prosecution.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), the former Deputy Inspector-General of Police claimed his inability to interrogate Mr Kayode Soyinka, who was on the dining table with Giwa when the letter bomb was delivered was the reason why investigation into the murder crime stalled.
The ex-police boss claimed: “They said somebody brought a parcel and his son Billy received the parcel and took it to his father (Dele Giwa), who was having his breakfast that morning. “On the breakfast table was a man called Kayode Soyinka, he was there; Dele was there and then the son Billy handed over the parcel. “And as he did so, I heard Soyinka left the table and went to the adjacent room.
“It was while he was there that the parcel detonated. Dele was injured and eventually died. The metal partition separating the dining room and the kitchen was destroyed. “Beyond that, everything in the kitchen was destroyed. If metal could be mangled this way by the bomb, what of human flesh, what happened to Soyinka? Nobody could give me an answer.
“My conclusion was that Soyinka knew what was coming and he left the room to hide behind the wall. “I took note of all these, went back to conduct an identification parade. We had an identification parade and got people of different physical attributes to be identified by the day watch. “Eventually, when one of those paraded was said to bear a resemblance to the person that delivered the bomb, in spite of my insistence to have the man quizzed, we could not.
“Because interference now came from high places to protect the man. The man was said to be related to the wife of a governor at that time and as a result of his connection we came to a dead end on that lead.’’
Retired DIG Omeben denied that his boss, former Military leader, Ibrahim Babangida masterminded the assassination, using his senior security officer, Akilu.
Omeben continue: “Up till today Soyinka never appeared before the police. “They started to insinuate that the assassination was masterminded by Babangida, Halilu Akilu etc. “They said that Akilu ought to have been investigated. “As a matter of fact, I had interrogated Akilu and he told me that yes they had invited Dele Giwa some few days before the assassination over a negative statement he made about Nigeria in a New York newspaper.
“He said that they had to invite him to tell him that he was wrong for portraying the country in bad light in the international press. “Akilu insisted that the invitation was not enough to accuse the government of complicity in the assassination of Dele Giwa.
“He satisfied me with his explanation. “Togun also absolved himself with his own explanation. “The parcel bomb was said to have the Federal Government logo on it, which to me was not enough evidence. “It was more of a circumstantial evidence. I can prove it!
“Go to any printing press if you are a “good’’ criminal and you are planning well, they can print it for you and place it on the parcel, and it will look as if it came from the government. “But for me to satisfy myself, I said please gentlemen, can I have Soyinka?
“Nobody! Soyinka ran away to London that was my principal suspect! “He did not appear until eventually I left the CID. I was retired from the police in 1989 and what happened after that I don’t know,” he claimed.
It was a general conception then within the press circle that the intention of the military administration was to eliminate Mr Kayode Soyinka through another deployed assassination or calculated poisoning, the reason why the then Newswatch London correspondence ran back to London to avoid the military trap.
However, Omeben’s concoction is an open lie as Major Debo Bashorun (rtd) who was the press secretary to General Babangida had reiterated as an insider during the regime that the murder was committed by the administration, because Dele Giwa had wanted to publish result of an investigation into a drug crime incriminating a close relative of the then Head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida. A serialised book published by Major Bashorun had revealed some hints on the circumstance leading to Dele Giwa’s death.
In his response during a short interview with emn-news.com, Mr Soyinka described Omeben’s claim as pack of lies aimed at setting him up and calculated to distract the international community from the main issue of the real culprit of the crime: “It is all planned lies. The same lying drum was beaten two years ago and I killed it. I actually replied to these same lies about two years ago in the interest of future reference which is now playing out”. I told the The Nation when he made the allegations in The Sun then. I wonder why the News Agency of Nigeria should continue to give a platform to a discredited liar and repeating the lies he has been repeating through the years”.
“I don’t want to respond to him any longer, otherwise, I will be making his lies very important even though he is completely irrelevant.”
Mr Soyinka claimed that the current lies as told by Omeben is made up to cover up Babangida, Akilu and Togun through the years.
“They started it from day one when that incident happened, and they have been perfecting it since, changing the story round.”
Soyinka claimed he was interrogated twice by the police over the incident before Giwa;s burial and prior to his returning back to London: “I cannot make myself available to Chris Omeben, I was the first person police interviewed on the spot on that day in Lagos. My survival was divine, the guy is lying; he doesn’t know anything. He said he is an investigator, he knows nothing.
“I was the first person to be interviewed in the hospital where Dele’s body was next door to me. The second interview took place at Newswatch office on Oregun road. He said I ran away from Nigeria, I didn’t run away, I was in Nigeria till Dele was buried; I attended the burial with my wife. My wife and children were in the United Kingdom (UK) when it happened; somebody flew them in to join me in Nigeria.
“After the incident, it was about a month before Dele was buried and I was in the country throughout. It was after the burial that I left Nigeria and I did not go through Nadeco route, I went through British Caledonia at the airport with my wife and children and well-wishers, including Newswatch staff, they followed me to the airport. So, I didn’t run away.”