Twelve years after the gruesome murder of the former Attorney- General and Minister of Justice, the late Chief Bola Ige, unending question of who actually killed him, resonated on the floor of the Senate chambers on Thursday during the screening of the remaining ministerial nominees as Abdul Jelil Adesiyan, a ministerial nominee from Osun State was challenged to swear whether he knew nothing about Bola Ige death..
Adesiyan, who made spirited effort to clear his name from accusation that linked him to the brutal murder of Chief Ige who was assassinated in his Bodija home, Ibadan on December 23, 2001 said he knew nothing about Ige’s death.
Senate President, David Mark, had in his usual manner, asked Adesiyan to make personal explanation especially those things that were not included in his curriculum vitae which he submitted to the Senate.
Adesiyan, who was nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan from Osun State, thanked the Senators for the opportunity offered him to stand before them to speak as a ministerial nominee.
He noted that he was one of those wrongly accused to have had a hand in the death of Chief Bola Ige. He said, “It may interest you Distinguished Senators to know that I am one of those wrongly accused to have had a hand in the death of my mentor, Chief Bola Ige. It was all political blackmail because I knew nothing about the death of Chief Bola Ige. I was detained for three and half years for something I knew nothing about. I stand here to say that I knew nothing about the death of Chief Bola Ige.”
Adesiyan described Bola Ige as his political mentor whom he had no reason whatsoever to kill. There was sustained murmuring in the chamber as Adesiyan appeared to be emotional in his conduct.
Senator Ehigie Uzamere, Edo South, interjected, raised his hand and was recognized by Mark. Uzamere said, “Mr. Nominee, you mentioned in the course of your speech the death of Chief Bola Ige. Can you swear by the Quran that you do not know anything about the death of Bola Ige”, a question that led to protest by some of the Senators who shouted that the Senate was not a place of worship or a shrine where such swear can be made.
But the unperturbed Uzamere continued by probing Adesiyan further: “You said that you did not kill Bola Ige, that you were accused wrongly and detained for three and half years. We are in the same boat because I was also detained.
“The question I want you to answer is did you kill Bola Ige? Did you have anything to do with the death of Bola Ige? If the Holy Quran is not here as some Senators said, I want to ask you did you kill Bola Ige? What do you know about the death of Bola Ige?
As the protest in chamber continued, Uzamere insisted that Adesiyan should answer the questions making Senate President to demand response from Adesiyan to the question upon which he said: “I thank Senator Uzamere for his questions. I do not know whether I can be availed with a copy of the Holy Quran. But I maintain and say that I did not kill Chief Bola Ige.
“I did not have any reason to kill Chief Bola Ige but I was wrongly fingered to have killed him. Chief Bola Ige sent me to the United States of America for my education, he was my mentor. I am saying it today if Chief Bola Ige gave money to anybody, it is my family and I.
“The reason I was fingered was because as the Assistant Secretary of then Alliance for Democracy (AD), I defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Because of that, I was fingered and punished as having something to do with the assassination of Chief Bola Ige.
“When I was in detention, I used to pinch myself whether I was dreaming because I had nothing to do with the death of Chief Bola Ige. It was all calculated political blackmail.”
Aside Adesiyan, other ministerial nominees screened by the Senate on Thursday were the former governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna; Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, Sokoto; and Dr. T.W. Danagogo, Rivers; while Hadjia Jamilla Salik, Kano; and Asabe Asmau Ahmed, Niger did not appear for screening.