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Who Killed Dele Giwa? By Bayo Oluwasanmi

October 19, 2012

Today is the 26th anniversary of the assassination of Dele Giwa, the unapologetically brash journalist, the founding editor of Newswatch magazine.

Today is the 26th anniversary of the assassination of Dele Giwa, the unapologetically brash journalist, the founding editor of Newswatch magazine.

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Every October 19 Nigerians are forced to lock their eyes on screaming newspaper headlines: “Who Killed Dele Giwa?”  

For a quarter of a century now, the same question had burned like acid in our brains.  The gory picture of a badly shattered body of Giwa continued to plague our minds after 25 years. And oddly enough, the Nigerian judicial system had successfully tap danced around the question.

Giwa was a flaming journalist with a fiery message of rebuke for the oppressive military regime of Ibrahim Badamosi Babaginda (IBB). Giwa was the pioneering journalist in Nigeria who blazed the path for investigative journalism bottled in a weekly authoritative brand known as Newswatch.

He was a watchman with bravura and strong moral fiber committed to a strong sense of right and wrong. Giwa’s creative message and method earned him reputation as a skilled writer, tough, and uncensored in his style.

He had a knack for packaging stories that injected sleeplessness and nightmares in the tyrants of his days. Needless to say, his fierce and uncompromising style made him a natural target of IBB administration.

Giwa writes with the supple grace of a swan and the boldness of a beaver.

Giwa, on that fateful day of 1986, had been extracted from our midst through a parcel bomb. We all felt the ripples of the bomb and we sobbed like milk-less baby.

The indefatigable legal surgeon, late Gani Fawehinmi was bent on finding the killer (s) of Giwa. Fawehinmi literally armed with a defibrillator as it were, relentlessly shocked back to life the question: Who killed Dele Giwa?

Two days before the arrival of the death parcel, Giwa had been accused by a senior member of the Directorate of Military intelligence of “illegally importing and stockpiling arms and ammunition for the purpose of staging a socialist revolution in Nigeria.”

In one of his columns, Giwa had criticized the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) which the government believed would recalibrate the sagging economy.

To assuage Giwa of the trumped up accusation by the government, Colonel Halilu Akilu a top security chief of IBB administration told Giwa not worry of anything.   

Furthermore, Akilu had told Giwa that he should expect a parcel – an invitation- from the Commander-in-Chief for official function.

Sooner than later, a man with a parcel arrived Giwa’s house. The parcel was received by Giwa’s son, Billy. Billy handed the parcel to his father. The parcel “bore the seal of the Presidency, was marked: “To be opened by addressee only.”  Receiving the parcel, Giwa said “this must be from the Presidency.”

Giwa had placed the parcel on his laps while it was being opened. The parcel exploded and torn Giwa into shreds. Giwa’s life expired on the way to the hospital.

Who killed Dele Giwa?
The denial of Giwa’s death by his killer (s) had gathered such velocity and punch to the extent that the rest of us have been rendered helpless and powerless.

Who killed Dele Giwa?

IBB and his henchmen had before the act relentlessly breathed threats and murder against Giwa. IBB the procurer of wickedness and destroyer of our nation is of a deceiving spirit and doctrines of demons full of lies and hypocrisy and with a conscience that has been “seared with a hot iron.”

Who killed Dele Giwa?

“If one person tells you it’s a horse, “goes the adage, “may be it is a horse, but if three people tell you it’s a horse- saddle up!”

Who killed dele Giwa?

The killing is done
Dele Giwa is gone
The harvest is past
The mourning continues.

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