Nobel lauerate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfil his pledge to re-open investigations into the murder of politically exposed persons such as the late Bola Ige, a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
Soyinka made the demand in a letter he addressed to Funso Adegbola, the daughter of the late Ige, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the late legal luminary’s death.
Ige was assassinated by yet-to-be unidentified gunmen at his residence in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on December 23, 2001.
Speaking on the death of the late legal luminary, Soyinka lamented that two decades after Ige’s murder, the Federal Government is yet to identify and prosecute the assasins.
The celebrated playwright lampooned President Buhari for not ordering a probe into the death of the late Ige and other persons who were killed for political reasons, noting that unsolved crimes will only lead to a culture of impunity in the country.
According to the Nobel laureate, the late Ige was one of the country’s resounding officials in office and Nigerians must, therefore, not relent to ask the government to publicise and prosecute all those connected to the murder, especially since he served the government in a high-ranking role of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
He wrote: “President Muhammadu Buhari, what has become of your robust pledge to open an enquiry into the spate of political murders that the nation has undergone in recent years? Does it all amount to yet another instance of political bravado?
“While we all accept that all lives should be valued equally, some impose a special responsibility on those in governance. Bola Ige, as the nation’s minister of justice, and United Nations’ civil servant-designate, was unarguably one such. A nation’s honour is in question and remains so until the hour of closure. Thus, she must never relent in demanding an explanation for his brutal murder, expose the perpetrators, identify the conspirators and reinstate the broken lines of justice.”
Noting that the “Nigerian leadership has yet to learn” any lesson following the unresolved murder investigations of political top shots in the country, Soyinka called on President Buhari to make a formal declaration and reveal details concerning the suspects.
He wrote: “At the very least, we need a formal declaration regarding those who displayed an abnormal interest in the fates of those accused, to a level of proven, documented interference both in the investigative process and within the judiciary. I am not alone in having written and lectured on these sordid aspects that fuelled the subversion of justice. There are surviving witnesses.
“President Buhari, share the rewards of your investigations – if any!!!”