Segun Akintola, the elder brother of a furniture seller, Michael Asiwaju, who committed suicide at a hotel in FESTAC, Lagos State, says the family received the news with a rude shock.
He said he knew about the death after a friend drew his attention to the story in Saturday PUNCH.
Contrary to his popular name, the brother said the businessman’s real name is Dare Akintola.
Segun stated that the deceased adopted Asiwaju in his company’s name, Asiwaju Royal Furniture, adding that he did not know how he came about the name Michael.
Our correspondent had reported on Saturday, January 19 that Asiwaju took a poisonous substance suspected to be Sniper, after he was accused on Twitter of raping women.
He responded to the allegation in several tweets on January 12, claiming that two of the women were actually his girlfriends whom he had spent money on at a club.
Although he admitted having sex with them, he said it was consensual, adding that one Blessing instigated the allegation to blackmail him.
He said his ailing mother died after reading the rape allegation online and expressed his intention to kill himself.
“Goodbye I’ll die soon. (I) am gone,” he had tweeted at 7.35pm on Saturday, January 12.
Afterwards, he checked into the hotel with the name Prince Moses. He was found dead in his room around 12am the following day with two bottles of Sniper he was suspected to have taken.
His body was evacuated by the police and deposited in Mainland General Hospital morgue, Yaba.
In an interview with our correspondent during the week, the deceased’s elder brother, Segun, said the family hails from Ojo, Lagos State.
He said he was relaxing at home on Saturday morning when a friend alerted him to the story on his brother’s death.
Segun said, “I was at home when a friend called me and drew my attention to a publication in Saturday PUNCH. He said my brother was reported to have killed himself and that his picture was on the paper. I rushed to the bus stop to get the paper. After reading it, I went to inform our family members.
“When I called his (Asiwaju’s) line, a policeman picked the call. He asked me to come to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Panti. On getting there, the policeman said my brother’s corpse had been deposited in the morgue. He took me and some family members to the morgue to check the corpse.”
Contrary to Asiwaju’s claim, Segun said their mother was alive, but ill. He said their ageing mother had not been informed of the incident in order not to worsen her health condition.
He explained that Asiwaju hardly came to the family house in Ojo since he returned from abroad about five years ago.
He said, “We saw each other last June at Alaba Market. He said he would soon go back to Abuja. He told me he had a house around Lekki but I did not know the place. He was running the Asiwaju Royal Furniture at Alaba before he travelled abroad. I also had a furniture shop in Alaba. His name is Dare Akintola. Asiwaju is his company’s name but I didn’t know where he got Michael from. He was 33 years old and he had a 10-year-old son.
“When I read what he wrote on Twitter, I was shocked. I was surprised he could be writing all those things. Our mother is alive, but she is sick. He was not a troublesome person. His only problem was that he hardly came home. The last time he saw mum was about five years ago. They only spoke on the phone and he sent money to her often. We are afraid to inform her about his death.”
Segun, who described his brother as a brave person, said he did not believe he could poison himself because of the allegation.
“Dare (Asiwaju) that I know, if you point a gun at him to kill himself, he would not do so. He was our parents’ last born. Our father died long time ago,” he added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, confirmed that the family had identified the corpse, adding that investigation was ongoing on the incident.
SERAP reacts to $16bn power projects, backs EFCC’s decision to probe past govts’ spending
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has agreed that “the reported probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of the past governments, starting with the government of former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s $16 billion power project.
SERAP noted that it is an opportunity for the anti-graft agency to show that former heads of state and other high-ranking public officials are not immune from investigation and prosecution for allegations of grand corruption in Nigeria.
“This probe is something, which SERAP has consistently called for. Nigerians have for far too long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector–staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.”
According to reports, the EFCC has begun the probe of the $16 billion power project of the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. While some put the exact cost of the project at $16 billion others say it is $13.8 billion. Key contractors and about 18 top public officers allegedly involved in the power project scam during the Obasanjo administration, and those of former Presidents Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, may also be arrested.
SERAP, in a statement signed on Sunday by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “The probe is timely, especially coming at a time of citizens’ frustrations at persistent allegations of corruption and the impacts on their human rights. Investigating allegations of grand corruption and prosecuting former heads of state and other high-ranking officials where such allegations show relevant and sufficient admissible evidence would address the grave travesty that has for many years occurred in the power sector.”
The organization also added: “The EFCC should urgently invite anyone suspected to be involved for questioning. The agency should also expand the probe to cover the alleged squandering of a total of N11 trillion in the power sector between 1999 and 2015, and the unresolved case of the reported missing $12.4 billion oil windfall, allegedly spent between 1988 and 1993 by the government of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida.”
“The EFCC has the full support of Nigerians in its efforts to hold high-ranking public officials to account for grand corruption, and if consistently, fairly and diligently pursued, this probe would contribute to ending impunity for corruption, and to mobilizing and encouraging youth civic engagement in the anti-graft fight in the country. SERAP stands ready to work with the EFCC in pursuing all allegations of grand corruption.
“SERAP notes that former presidents have routinely faced corruption charges in countries like Iceland, Kyrgyzstan, Brazil, Montenegro, South Korea, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Slovakia, Peru, and Mauritius, and the probe by the EFCC would mean this list would grow even further to include Nigeria.
“Impunity for grand corruption will continue as long as high-ranking public officials go largely unpunished for their alleged crimes. It is by pursuing these allegations and taking the evidence before the court that the truth will be revealed and justice best served. Addressing impunity in the power sector should be total. This would help to further public perception of fairness and thoroughness.
“Lack of regular electricity supply in the country had occasioned many other problems, including lack of access to potable water. The failure by successive governments to tell Nigerians the truth about allegations of corruption in the power sector amounts to a failure to ensure that electricity services are progressively made available, on the basis of equality and non-discrimination.
“In November 2016, SERAP petitioned the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, urging him to probe the alleged spending of the $16 billion. In April 2017, SERAP sent President Muhammadu Buhari an open letter, advising him to take allegations of corruption in the power sector to the international criminal courts to ensure that justice is served.
“SERAP has also called on Mr Buhari to refer the alleged $16 billion spending on electricity between 1999 and 2007 to the EFCC. Mr Buhari subsequently raised questions over the issues, saying that ‘one of the former Heads of State was bragging that he spent more than 15 billion American dollars, not naira, on power. Where is the power? Where is the power?
“In August 2017, SERAP published a report, ‘From Darkness to Darkness: How Nigerians are Paying the Price for Corruption in the Electricity Sector’, which revealed how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply was allegedly squandered under the governments of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan”, the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the said report reads: “The Obasanjo’s administration spent $10 billion on NIPP with no results in terms of increase in power generation. $13.278,937,409.94 was expended on the power sector in eight years while unfunded commitments amounted to $12 billion.
“The Federal Government then budgeted a whopping N16 billion for the various reforms under Liyel Imoke (2003 to 2007) which went down the drains as it failed to generate the needed amount of electricity or meet the set goals. Imoke was alleged to have personally collected the sum of $7.8 million for the execution of the contract for the construction of the Jos-Yola Transmission Line, which was never executed. There were documented/reported allegations of corruption against Imoke that fizzled-out shortly thereafter.”
Alleged Money Laundering: Atiku’s Lawyer, Giwa-Osagie Gets N20m Bail
A Federal High Court, in Lagos on Thursday granted bail to Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, lawyer to the former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo granted Giwa-Osagie bail in the sum of N20million with one surety in like sum, while he, thereafter, fixed October 8 for trial in the case.
The judge also admitted Giwa-Osagie’s brother, Erhunse, also in the same sum and a surety.
He held that the sureties for both defendants must reside in Lagos and have landed property in the state.
Justice Oweibo further ordered that the defendants be released to their counsel, pending the perfection of their bail terms which must be done within 14 days.
‘Isheri Day’ Attack: Police Reveal How Soldiers Allegedly Killed Two Persons
The Ogun State Police Command has disclosed that some soldiers from the Ikeja Cantonment in Lagos, played a role in the killing of some residents of Isheri Olofin on Sunday August 13.
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Bashir Makama in a statement on Monday, said credible information at the disposal of the command has it that on the said date, Four (4) men of the Nigerian Army believed to be from Ikeja Cantonment and posted to Kara Market, left their beats and went to Isheri Olofin, a border town between Lagos and Ogun State where the indigenes of the town were celebrating their annual “Isheri Day”.
Makama explained that the soldiers, on getting there, had a minor disagreement with some youths which made the soldiers to start shooting sporadically into the air.
He added that consequently, one Damilare Adelani was hit by bullets and he died on the spot.
The police, in the statement further revealed that the ugly incident infuriated the people at the scene who in turn reacted violently against the soldiers leaving one of the soldiers and three other civilians injured.
He said the soldiers quickly took their injured colleague to a hospital (name with-held) where they met one of the injured civilians being attended to by a Medical Doctor on duty.
According to the police commissioner, a statement from the officials of the hospital reveals that the Soldiers ordered the doctor at gun-point, to leave the injured man and attend to their colleague.
“They then dragged the patient out of the bed and subsequently stabbed him to death with a Bayonet attached to the muzzle of his rifle,” CP Makama said.
Following the emerging details of the incident, the Ogun State police command says a full scale investigation into the “Isheri Day” shooting incident has been launched.
The command through CP Makama further notes that contact with the military authorities in Ogun State have been established and efforts are in place to ensure that those found wanting are brought to book.
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