Prominent personalities in Nigeria have had their lives cut short with no clue as to the people behind their deaths. The deaths of these individuals continue to be a shocking mystery to the people as their murders and assassinations remain unsolved. Though there have been many assassinations, below is a quick run down of five top assassinations in Nigeria’s history.
A prominent Nigerian journalist, editor and founder of Newswatch, Dele Giwa, was assassinated on 19 October, 1986 in his home at House 25, Talabi Crescent, off Talabi Street on Adeniyi Jones Avenue. He received a mail package which unknown to him was a letter bomb and became the first victim of such a heinous crime. The incident occurred barely two days after he had been interviewed by State Security Service (SSS) officials and he is believed to have been assassinated for his criticism of the then military government.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Federal Minister of Justice as at the time of his death, Bola Ige was born James Ajibola Idowu Ige. The prominent lawyer and politician died in Ibadan on December 23, 2001 after he was shot death by unknown gunmen. Bola Ige was also a strong agitator against the imposition of Sharia Law in the northern states of Nigeria. He had been about to take the position as Africa’s Representative on the United Nations International Law Commission before the assassination.
Funmilayo Ransome Kuti:
Born on 25 October, 1900, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was an educator and activist who provided leadership for women rights in the ‘50s. She saw to the successful abolishment of separate tax rates for women and actively campaigned for women votes. She was seen as a threat by the government for her activism and in 1978, she was thrown from a third floor window at her son, Fela’s compound by armed military personnel. She lapsed into a coma and died on 13 April 1978 from injuries sustained. One of her grandsons Seun Kuti has alleged the federal government killed her and demands an apology following intentions to immortalize her with the then proposed N5000 note. No such apology has been tendered yet.
He was a civil servant and politician who had joined politics in the mid 1990s in order that he could formulate policy rather than just carry it out. As at the time of his death, he had been hoping to get nominated as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Gubernatorial candidate for Lagos State. He was however found in his bedroom tied up, stabbed and strangled on July 27, 2006.
Barnabas Igwe and his wife, Amaka:
The gruesome murder of Barnabas Igwe, the then state Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Onitsha branch and his pregnant wife on September 1, 2002. According to the reports, Barnbas Igwe was stabbed, cut and shot then ran over by his car while his wife received machete cuts to her lower limbs as well as back cuts that killed her instantly. Their crime was their opposition of the antics of the then Anambra state government.