*As Nigerians demand declassification of investigation
By Charles Kumolu & David Okpe
Lagos—THE thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of the founding Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch Magazine, Mr. Dele Giwa provided an opportunity for Nigerians to urge the Federal Government to declassify the outcome of the various investigations into the matter, noting that doing so would easily unmask those behind the gruesome murder.
It was also an avenue to demand that the case be included among those to be reinvestigated in line with a recent directive by President Muhammadu Buhari for the re-opening of all unresolved high-profile assassinations in Nigeria.
At the event, which was convened, yesterday in Lagos, by the Lagos State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, attendees unanimously said unravelling Giwa’s killers would not be a challenge considering the availability of reports on the issue especially the position of Oputa Panel on human rights violations.
Those at the forum, entitled: ‘Safety of Journalists and the Culture of Impunity in Africa’, include the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Fola Adeyemi; Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Owoseni; House of Representatives member, Mr. Sani Zoro; President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, Mrs. Funke Egbemode; General Manager/Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye; human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, who was represented by Mr. Malachy Ugwumadu and co-founders of Newswatch Magazine, Messrs. Ray Ekpu, Yakubu Mohammed and Dan Agbese.
Others are Mr. Dare Babarinisa; Second Vice President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani; President of Tell Communications, Mr. Nosa Igiebor; Executive Secretary of Dele Giwa Foundation, Mr. Richard Akinnola; Deputy Managing Director of Thisday Newspapers, Mr. Kayode Komolafe; Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The SunNewspapers, Mr. Eric Osagie; wife of the deceased, Mrs. Funmi Giwa; daughter of the deceased, Miss Aisha Giwa and a younger brother of the late journalist, Mr. Tunde Giwa, among others.
Falana tasks media
In his remarks, Falana, who was the guest speaker, urged journalists to keep the issue on the front burner to enable the police unmask those behind the act which happened on October 19, 1986.
Dele’s death touched our family — Brother
On his part, Dele Giwa’s younger brother, Tunde Giwa, said: “It is my believe that keeping his memory alive in this manner would keep the issue alive. That is why we came up with the Dele Giwa Foundation. I have to thank Funmi, she is the only one I know as Dele Giwa’s wife. The death of Dele Giwa touched our family in a negative way because he was the only one we had.
”I want to beg the media not to let the death go like that. We still want justice to be done because we all know the person responsible. I can even mention the person’s name. Gani Fawehimi told me that even if it will take 50 years, we must ensure the killer is brought to book.”
FG should reopen case—Ekpu
On his part, Ekpu said: “We issued a statement indicating that the government should reopen the investigation into the case. We stand by our position. All of us here are collective widows, it is not just Funmi and Dele’s brothers who were made widows by that dastardly act of 30 years ago. The perpetrators thought the issue would be quickly done and forgotten but it was quickly done but has not been forgotten. Books have been written on it, positions have been taken, we must not forget that a lot of Nigerians have been killed and the killers have not been brought to justice. That is why we must ensure that the killers are brought to book.”