Who killed the attorney general?

Author:Obayiuwana, Osasu
Position:Nigeria - Brief Article

The murder of Ajibola James Ige, Nigeria's attorney general and minister for justice, by assassins who violated his Ibadan home on 23 December, has left more questions than answers for the country's bewildered citizens. No acceptable excuse has been given for the absence of his entire security detail -- who left their duty post to have dinner -- when the residence of the country's chief law officer was under attack.

There was no resistance as the killers stormed Ige's house, located in Ibadan's exclusive Bodija district. His assailants ordered his wife, Atinuke, to leave the room before shooting the 71-year-old man in the chest.

Articulate, urbane and forthright, Ige was one of Nigeria's most prominent politicians. Before his death, he had been caught in the crossfire of a deadly political turmoil in Osun State, which had claimed many lives and probably his own.

The Alliance for Democracy (AD) parry, to which Ige belonged, has now been sucked into the long-running feud between the Osun State governor, Bisi Akande, and his deputy, Iyiola Omisore.

Omisore says that he has been systematically undermined by his boss and accuses Akande of reneging on his promise to spend only one term in office. Omisore further alleges that there was an agreement between the two that he would be allowed to get the top job in 2003, but Akande is reneging on the deal.

Omisore accused Bola Ige -- a close political associate of Akande's -- of playing a role in frustracting his gubernatorial ambitions and helping the governor's re-election bid.

Ige was abused and physically attacked by a mob in the town of Ile-Ife before his death. Supporters of Omisore in the mob snatched Ige's spectacles and traditional cap as they berated him for supporting Akande to the detriment of Omisore.

The shameful incident occurred as Ige was departing from the palace of Oba Sijuwade, the "Ooni" or King -- of Ife, the pre-eminent king of the Yorubas. Ige was attending a chieftaincy award given by the Ooni to President Olusegun Obasanjo's wife, Stella.

His assassination is a tremendous blow...

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