21st November, 2011
With the nod given last Friday by an Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta that the Truth Commision set up by Governor Ibikunle Amosun to inquire into the complaints and cases of deaths, disappearance and assassination of persons during the administration of former Governor Gbenga Daniel, can proceed on its assignment, it is expected that the commission will commence sitting in earnest and unravel those behind the reign of terror in the state between May 2003 and May 2011.
It is interesting to note that it is the same judge who granted the initial restraining order that also vacated the order, thereby giving the six-member commission constituted by Governor Amosun on 14 September, the legal backing to proceed with its assignment.
The commission is expected to look into the killing of the former chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ogun, Otunba Dipo Dina; the disappearance of Age (Animashaun) Lemomu and killings of 65 political supporters of Amosun between 2005 and 2009.
It is expected that the commission will examine the veracity or otherwise of reports that the former governor unleashed its killer squad to terminate the life of former President Olusegun Obasanjo which the latter reported to President Goodluck Jonathan.
It is also expected to look into the failed assassination bid on Danielâ€™s former Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wale Adedayo and spirited harassment and threats to the life of the former Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye.
The Truth Commission will determine whether or not such deaths, disappearances and assassination of some indigenes of the state during Danielâ€™s era constituted abuse of power by any person or persons holding public office.
It is also to identify individuals, institutions and groups, whose activities resulted in the acts so referred.
Members of the commission are Messrs. Pius Adeyemi, Abdulahi Mustapha, Dolapo Akinsanya, Bamidele Aturu, Tunji Onabamiwo and Lanre Suraj.
It is our hope that the commission will adhere strictly to its terms of reference and avoid witchhhunting and frivolous accusations. Only serious and genuine petitions containing facts should be considered by the commission.
It is our considered opinion that the commission should make its sittings public and proceedings given the widest publicity through live transmission by the state-owned radio and television stations, while those who have something to say to unravel the perpetrators of the dastardly acts should be encouraged to appear and their security guaranteed.
We have no doubt that members of the commission are people of integrity and will live up to the peopleâ€™s expectation.
We also seize this opportunity to commend Governor Amosun for allowing the law to take its course in the commencement of work by the commission.
When on 28 October, 2011, Daniel went to court to stop the commission from sitting, Governor Amosun did not disobey the court by overruling it. Rather, the governor waited patiently for the court to vacate its order. The governor has shown by his action that he is a firm believer in the rule of law.
tales of political assassination and attacks did not happen in the Gateway state again.
Following the removal of legal impediment to its sitting, we look forward to a fact-finding proceeding by the commission to ensure that sordid.