Obafemi Awolowo University: Once a State of Blood
Reflections on savage killings of Students By armed cultists with the support of Babangida and the OAU VC
July 10 OAU Cult Invasion, A Cry for Justice
Suffice to begin by stating the facts that put Prof. Omole and members of his administration’s inner caucus on the spot in the whole cruel murderous saga with this clincher as the first shocker: The Black Axe cultist murderers gained easy access to, and exit from an hitherto well secured campus in the night through the university gates after their bloody mission, and throughout the hour the attack lasted, surprisingly all communications and security gadgets on campus, including walkie – talkies in all the halls of residence, campus gates and the central security unit were all Dead. Unbelievable! But the ridiculous reason the security personnel (mostly outsourced by the VC) gave was that all the gadgets were being charged that early morning. Charged at the same time? Wow! What an episodic Wale Wonder coincidence. What a frightening fairy tale!
But to put a lie to this, a former campus Chief Intelligence Officer employed by Wale Omole (but no more in the service of the university before the cult incident), Mr. P.A. Baiyewu (CW 27), while testifying before the Judicial Commission on oath, declared that there was no way all security and communications gadgets could be charged at the same time, that even if they were being charged, radio messages would still be received because of the sophistication of the gadgets procured during Omole’s regime to beef up security on campus.
But alas, on the day of the gruesome murder when the communications gadgets were needed most, all the gadgets were not working because they were all ‘being charged at the same time’ or ‘broken down’, hence information could not be relayed from anywhere to anywhere including Awolowo and Fajuyi Halls where the assassination took place. GSM was yet to be introduced to Nigeria.
This was the exact statement of Mr. Baiyewu (CW27): “Walkie – Talkie is never dead. Even if you are charging, you will still receive…….It would still function……it is abnormal for the entire university communication network to break down at the same time”
The Principal Assistant Registrar in the office of the V.C., Mr. SL Adefemi, when giving his oral evidence stated that the university, during Wale Omole’s tenure claimed to have been maintaining at least five different categories of security outfits within the campus to wit: (a) “Mobile Police Force” (b) Regular Police” (c) Mufti Police” (d) “Talent Spotted Operatives” (that is, student informants mainly drawn from members of the Campus Peace Corp, (e) “Internal Security Special Branch” (that is, a special Intelligence Unit
within the campus (f) “Extra Security Force” (that is, native hunters). The question to ask here is why the militarization of the campus and what the University needed the number of security outfits for? But still, all Omole’s campus militia were nowhere to be found when the murderous gangsters invaded the school.
* Without March 7, there may not be July 10, 1999.
On the 7th of March, nine members of Black Axe cult were arrested by the students’ union in a boy’s quarter of the residence of a university staff on campus. Many dangerous items and uniforms were found in their possession which included submachine guns, AK 47, an axe, ammunition, dagger and local firearms. They confessed to their crime and the student leaders handed them over directly to the police for prosecution (after informing the university authority) because of lack of faith in the Omole’s administration for of its kid’s glove treatment of cult issues on campus.
The accused were later charged to the Ile – Ife Magistrate Court on the 23rd of March, 1999. But curiously, in what could be described as the fastest criminal trial ever, the Magistrate found that the accused had no case to answer and discharged them but ordered that the sub-machine guns, AK 47 and other ammunition seized from them be transferred to the Police armourer and the remaining exhibits be destroyed. A subversion and perversion of course of justice! The students’ union was not informed by the police, the university was not involved (as revealed to the panel by Omole’s successor, Prof. Makanjuola Rogers) and only the Investigating Police Officer gave evidence.
The university under Prof. Omole claimed that they had suspended immediately the cultists that were apprehended and confessed to the crime, through a circular pasted on notice boards. But it was later discovered that it was only a deception as none of the cultists purportedly suspended was served any suspension letter. The suspension was never communicated to the affected cultists in line with the administrative procedure until July 8 when the university hurriedly sent them letters of suspension after students protested their presence on campus for engaging in academic activities. Curiously, the deadly cult attack was carried out on July 10, two days after.
The deception of suspension was much confirmed in the memorandum submitted by the Registrar, Mrs. Iluyomade (CW5). The dates on the letters of suspension (Ref. Nos,RO.62/Vol.X11/266-271 was July 8. When the Registrar was asked by students union’s counsel on her role during the March 7 arrest of the armed cultists, the Registrar said that she told Mr. Femi Idowu, Omole’s ‘Al- Mustapha’ and Idowu assured her ‘no problem’. Imagine a Registrar reporting to an unknown entity who Omole brought from nowhere to be part of his campus militia.
Prof. Wale Omole (CW 30) in his presentation at the Commission (exhibit 28) gave credence to the fact that those cultists that were arrested on March 7 were truly cultists with a dastardly mission on the campus. These were exact words of Omole, the man who was so much at home with campus cultists and who knew so much about Black Axe guys’ presence on campus yet he did nothing: “However in March, 1999…the Black Axe was said to have an initiation ceremony that attracted members from other campuses. Prior to the ceremony, some of the Ake boys had a brush with some students and this was reported to the Students’ Union…who organized the arrest of the cultists in the staff quarters. The arrested cultists were top shots of the Black Axe and this must have been considered a disgrace for Black Axe Organisation particularly at Ife and nationally, since other branches witnessed the humiliation’
(Page 2, paragraph 3 – 4 of Omole’s memorandum) and further (the last two paragraphs of page 15) ‘The Ake had planned an initiation ceremony for a weekend in early March 99. A larger number of the Ake members from other campuses had arrived OAU for the ceremony and were enjoying themselves running around campus prior to the main night activity when a minor traffic squabble developed between some Ake boys and some student drivers on campus’ The big question is why couldn’t Omole take prompt action when he knew all this then and before the cultists reprisal attack on July 10?
This was the leadership disposition of ‘Chancellor of Vices’, Omole, whose image and bloody record one Seye Olumide wanted to launder. Too bad.
From his memorandum and verbal presentation during cross examination, it showed that Omole knew so much about campus cultism, cultists and their modus operandi, programmes, what could provoke them, what they liked and disliked that one would wonder if he had his professorship on cultism.
Please note this did not prevent the pathological and unscrupulous liar of a professor from asserting few days after the murder (when he had absconded from the campus and unseen throughout the mourning and burial period) in his interview with the Tribune published under the banner “Only God will judge if I am guilty” on pages 10 and 23 in the edition dated 31st July, 1999 (exhibit 45) “What the students do is that if you are not in their camp or you are opposed to them, they will arrest you and say that you are a secret cult member. You may not be and that’s what they did in this instance. In March, they arrested nine students, accused them of being secret cult members…”
Discerning minds can read through Omole’s professorial lies to the Tribune newspaper which ran contrary to his later confession and presentation before the Commission in his submitted memorandum in which he acknowledged that the nine Ake boys (in his words) arrested on March 7 with guns were indeed cultists (exhibit 28): “The Ake had planned an initiation ceremony for a weekend in early March 1999…. A larger number of the Ake members from other campuses had arrived OAU for the ceremony” “Ake is …the strongest cult on campus with a lot of financial resources and sophisticated weapons” – Omole (exhibit 28, page 15, paragraph 4) Since Omole knew this much before the July 10 attack, why did he then deny to Tribune that July 10 attackers arrested and who confessed to his sponsorship were cultists?
Prof. Omole’s denial that he didn’t know any cultists on campus including Efosa Idahosa, Kato and others that were arrested after the July 10 attack fell flat before the Commission when the former campus Chief Intelligence Officer, Baiyewu (CW 27), told the shocked panel that Omole knew them because they (security unit) were using some of the cult boys as informants and some of them including Kato (one of the prime suspects accused for the July 10 cult attack) were reporting directly to the Vice Chancellor. Baiyewu’s words during cross examination by the students’ counsel: “Bello Kato or Dare Devil, the boy whose name appears was a known terror…He was arrested by my unit subjected to serious interrogations. He confessed being a cultist. My unit then recorded all that he said. He mentioned Idahosa, Tope Olojede and co. he took me to where they usually hold meetings” – (CW27)
“I arrested Kato, he confessed he was having two pistols. The VC instructed that Kato be handed over to the normal security outfit. He was taken to S.I.I.B. Osogbo. He came back thereafter… Kato came to my office again and said that he had been mandated by the V.C. to come to him direct for any information” – Omole’s former Chief Intelligence Officer. (CW27)
The main pivot on which one Seye Olamide’s failed image laundry gambit for his ‘herder’ was that one of the main suspected cultists involved in the July 10 attack, Efosa Idahosa, recanted with a court affidavit that Omole sponsored them. Efosa had earlier confessed before the students, police, press and the whole nation with statements written voluntarily after his arrest by students that Omole was their sponsor. He was standing trial for murder and detained at Ilesa prison. How Omole clandestinely got an ‘Oluwole’ affidavit from Idahosa, a detained suspect / cultist revealed the rogue nature of a professor. On the day and the date on the affidavit purportedly sworn to by Idahosa to recant his earlier confessional statement, there was no fact / record from Ilesa prison authority that Idahosa was allowed out of the prison to go to court. It means some crooks working in alliance with the suspect must have procured a ‘black market’ affidavit for him in absentia to sign or signed for him.
When the students’ union counsel, Olumide Fusika (SAN) asked Omole during cross examination on who handed over the affidavit to him, and where did he get it. The professor’s answer was too crooked to believe that someone who could indulge in such clandestine alliance ever presided over the affairs of prestigious Great Ife, a citadel of sound intellectualism for learning and culture.
Omole claimed the affidavit was posted to him from an anonymous and he received it at the university’s guest house in Lagos. On the question of how did his ‘anonymous’ know he would be at the university’s guest house at the exact time he received the alleged posted parcel, our shameless professor said his ‘anonymous’ knew that he was always at the guest house anytime he was in Lagos. What a coincidence and what a professorial defence!
How Omole got a contrived affidavit from Efosa Idahosa who was then detained at Ilesha prison (on the date on the affidavit) for charges of murder and conspiracy for the July 10 attack since Efosa’s lawyer, Mr.Atirene Wilson, said he didn’t serve Omole, was a frightening example in banditry and criminality.
First, in an answer to the question from a member of the Commission, Efosa’s lawyer said: “I gave one to the Commissioner for Oaths, one to the Tribunal, one for myself and the remaining three to Arthur Idahosa”. When Mr. Ali (SAN), a member of the Commission of Enquiry, asked further on why a copy of the receipt issued by the Osun State High Court, Ilesa, came to also be in Omole’s memo attached as appendix (XXXVIA) since both were not in contact with each other. Atirene Wilson replied: “I would be surprised if a copy of the original receipt is found in Omole’s memorandum”
However, before Atirene Wilson eventually came to testify before the Tribunal following a Warrant of Arrest issued on him, Omole had testified on how he came about the document. Under cross examination by the counsel for the students union, Mr. Olumide – Fusika (SAN), Prof. Omole claimed that he got the affidavit from an ANONYMOUS SOURCE. His words: “In Lagos, at the guest house of the university….I got it on the 19th. It came from Osogbo, anonymously. It was addressed to me” Questioned further on how did the ‘anonymous’ know he would be at the guest house waiting to receive it and how he himself knew a parcel would be sent to him at the University Guest House considering that he had by that time been removed from office and would not ordinarily be assumed to be in the guest house by an anonymous person. Omole’s response was un – professorial lacking expected rationality, he said: “People know that I stay at the Guest House when I am in Lagos” (even after being removed from office? waoh!)
Femi Idowu, same Omole’s right hand man, was also named by Efosa Idahosa in his statement to the students, as the contact person who facilitated the sum of N350, 000 from the authority on 8th of July, given to Kato – Kazeem Bello for the July 10 attack.
Kazeem Bello confirmed this in his initial statement when he was arrested separately in Lagos. Again, when the Bursar was asked by the students’ counsel, Olumide – Fusoka (SAN) about funds disbursed on days preceding July 10, she acknowledged that a sum of N350, 000 was collected by Femi Idowu on July 8 for security needs among several other payments. Throughout the period the tribunal sat, Femi Idowu never showed up to deny or confirm this since he mysteriously disappeared from campus after the cult attack
When the Chief Security Officer, Mr. PO Odewumi (CW 17) was asked the details of security men at Awo Hall, Fajuyi Hall, Central Security Post, University main gate, just to know what happened to them and their communication gadget, the best (CW 17), could do, was to refer the Tribunal to Mr. Femi Idowu, the television journalist turned powerful ‘underground security consultant’ engaged by Prof. Wale Omole ostensibly as Corporate Services Officer
Lastly, we all know by this account and verifiable witnesses and evidences that Great Ife campus under Omole was a very fertile ground for cultism ever before July 10 Cult Attack that led to the cold blooded of 5 students including George Iwilade, aka AFRIKA.
May their blood continue to haunt their killers and sponsors as their souls are still Crying for Justice.
Added excerpts from A CRY FOR JUSTICE, a publication by the Students Union, OAU that documented in full the proceedings at the Federal Government Commission of Enquiry that investigated the cult murderous incident.