Justice James Ajibola Idowu Ige was assassinated on this day December 23, in 2001. We remember. Still unresolved

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, has asked the Federal Government to find the killers of a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige.

Ige was shot dead by suspected assassins in his Ibadan residence on December 23, 2001 and his death has yet to be resolved.

Wednesday marked the 14th anniversary of his death.

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday, Falae described the fact that Ige’s killers had yet to be apprehended as a national shame.

“I am sad that Ige’s killers have yet to be found. He was the Minister of Justice and up till today his death has yet to be resolved. The Federal Government should intensify efforts at resolving the mysteries behind this murder and, most importantly, bring the murderers to book. This is the only way we can forestall further political murders.

“Ige’s case reminds me of my recent abduction which is an affront to the nation. I mean for somebody of my pedigree to be picked up like a goat and taken to an unknown bush is an affront to the nation.”

Falae said the Federal Government should concentrate on improving intelligence and build public trust that would encourage citizens to give information to the police.

He urged the Federal Government to invest in security.

He added, “The heart of national security is intelligence. The Federal Government should really focus on this because not only will this enable crimes to be resolved, security agencies can anticipate crimes and forestall them.

“Secondly, the security forces should cultivate public trust. Many people with the right information about crimes are afraid of talking because when you report to the police, you are arrested. In the United Kingdom, when somebody commits a crime on the street, there is someone looking through the window who would call the police immediately. Such a citizen sees it as a civic responsibility but in Nigeria, the story is different.”

Also speaking in an interview with our correspondent, a former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to be radical in resolving political murders in Nigeria.

Musa said most political crimes in Nigeria were unresolved because of stiff political competition, corruption and because some government officials were involved in the murder.

He said, “We need a political radical to get to the roots of these mindless killings. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s image was enhanced by the late Ige. Ige was killed during Obasanjo’s tenure yet Obasanjo’s administration didn’t resolve the killing. So, Buhari needs to be a political radical. But is he really a political radical? That is my grouse with Buhari.”

Musa asked President Muhammadu Buhari to be resolute in resolving political murders in the country.

The former governor maintained that political murders remained unsolved because politics had become a very attractive source to attain ill-gotten wealth.

“Political murders would not be resolved because political competition is stiff. Another factor is the high level of corruption and the fact that some top government officials were involved in those crimes. When government is involved in these crimes, it will be very difficult to resolve them,” he said.

Another elder statesman, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, said he was not happy that Ige’s killers have not been found 14 years after his death.

In an interview with our correspondent on Thursday, Braithwaite attributed the rise in political crimes to the upsurge of professionals into politics, saying that many people joined politics “in order to be rich and be famous”.

He added, “Unless we break that chain and introduce drastic punishments, political crimes would continue to be perpetrated.”

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