By Richard Akinnola
For years, they were best of friends, like siamese twins. In fact, in his first Will, Gani Fawehinmi made his bossom friend, Dr Olu Onagoruwa as the executor. Each time Dr Onagoruwa had a case, Gani represented him and vice versa. Then came General Sani Abacha as Head of State in 1993.
Abacha appointed Onagoruwa Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Gani kicked against it. He warned his friend not to accept, that he would regret it. But Onagoruwa was persuaded by his Odogbolu kinsman and Abacha’s deputy, Lt-General Oladipo Diya to disregard Gani and accept the appointment. Onagoruwa did and his relationship with Gani was ruptured.
Gani removed him as the administrator of his Will and they were no longer on speaking terms till Abacha left, safe for the time Onagoruwa’s son was assassinated by the Abacha hitmen. The loss of hs son in such a tragic circumstance led him to have stroke. Gani put aside their differences and went to his house to commiserate with him.
After the death of Abacha, Onagoruwa wrote a book – “A rebel in General Abacha’s government”, where he made some uncomplimentary comments about Gani, his erstwhile friend. We went ahead to make some false statements to the effect that General Buhari’s government bought Gani a house in London.
Onagoruwa, on page 24 of his book, stated inter alia:
“The Buhari administration later helped him to secure a house in London”.
A livid Gani decided to reply what he considered as Onagoruwa’s “lies and defamation” with a book which he dedicated to “Truth and the rejection of falsehood”.
The book, titled: “The lies and lies of Dr Olu Onagoruwa”, Gani pooh-poohed Onagoruwa’s assertion when he stated, inter alia:
“Dr Olu Onagoruwa, in his book, shamelessly lied against me that General Mohammed Buhari, as Head of State, helped me acquired my house in London. General Buhari’s military administration lasted from Sunday, 1st January, 1984 to Monday, 26th August, 1985 when the military administration was toppled in another coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida…I did not buy any house or any landed property of any description or of any type in London between 1983 and 1985. In 1980, four years before Buhari military administration came to power, I bought an apartment in Croydon, London.
“It was 15 Willow Mount…Dr Olu Onagoruwa’s wife, Mrs Titi Onagoruwa and her children visited my wife (Mrs Ganiat Bukun Fawehinmi) and myself in this property in 1981. She wore a red skirt and blouse. That was three years before Buhari’s military administration came to power. It is therefore surprising that Olu Onagoruwa could concoct a horrible falsehood as he shamelessly did in his book.”