Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday challenged the essence of last weekend’s emergence of Otunba Iyiola Omisore as National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Soyinka, in a communique, questioned why the former deputy governor of Osun State should be chosen for the party position not too long after President Muhammadu Buhari commanded the Inspector-General of Police to resume investigations of unresolved murder cases in the country including that of former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige (SAN).
Omisore, he stated, is a prime suspect in the Ige murder.
Soyinka, in the communique entitled “Perhaps closed files should remain just that-Closed?” said: “Not for a moment does one suggest that mere accusation, even trial, presumes Guilt. More than mere verdict is involved in any trial however. The process of arriving at that ultimate destination – justice – is integral to the very concept of democracy and equality under the law. That process is one of the structures of civic education.
“Unresolved till today were quite a number of untidy, even suspect aspects of investigation, prosecution and trials, aspects which revealed improper cell co-habitation by suspects under custody. That this led necessarily to recantations of earlier depositions is not thereby proven, but the fact remains that such U-turns did take place.
“One was so brazen that it induced a heart attack that proved fatal to the victim’s wife, another Justice – Mrs. Atinuke Ige. That the prime suspect was privileged in a number of improper ways went beyond mere allegation. Political interventions, including pressure on the judiciary during bail hearings, cannot be denied. A judge under such pressure kept a diary with accusations, pages of which he consigned to friends for safekeeping.
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“With the emergence of the said prime suspect as National Secretary of the Ruling Party, is the Inspector-General of Police equipped to confront political obstacles in a resumption of investigation? Is there any guarantee that the result will see the light of day? How suspect, ab initio, will be the conclusions, given the present political ordering?
“I repeat: we are speaking of blatant, undeniable exercise of political interventions during investigations and the arraignment of suspects. Prior incumbency of the position of National Secretary of a ruling party has demonstrated the potent interventionist clout that can be wielded from that office.
“The president has personally received, and thus anointed the new incumbent. Since he remains central to any re-investigation – whatever form or direction it takes – just what value of objective assessment can be placed on the presidential pledge?
“I think the nation should simply relieve President Buhari of his pledge. I am certain the Inspector-General of Police will be equally relieved and can now turn his mind and energy to the national accustomed posture – Business as Usual.”