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Attack on Daniel: Segun Osoba arrested

•It was a harrowing experience –Osoba

Akin Olukunle, Rotimi Williams and Sesan Olufowobi

The Police on Friday night in Lagos picked up ex-Governor Segun Osoba, in connection with the attack on Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.

Following an invitation from the AIG Zone 2, Mr. Gazali Lawal, Chief Osoba arrived the Onikan office of the command at about 7.30pm.

He left his Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, residence at about 7.00pm, driven by his son in a golden colour Mercedes Benz jeep marked Lagos ST 10 AAA, which was closely followed by a police vehicle. Two other people were inside the car.

On arrival, he was immediately ushered into the office of the AIG who led the criminal investigation department team that interrogated him.

As soon as Osoba entered the premises of the command, the gates were firmly locked and movement was restricted, making it difficult for people to go in and out of the compound.

It was gathered that the order to arrest the ex-governor may have been given by the Police high command which mandated Zone 2 to carry it out.

The AIG had earlier during the day visited Abeokuta, a trip believed to be in connection with the investigation into the assault on Governor Daniel and his wife in Ilaro by people believed to be students of the Federal Polytechnic in the town.

Chief Osoba was released on bail around 9.30pm after signing a N50 million bail bond.

Speaking on his arrest at about 9.50pm, Chief Osoba told our correspondent on telephone that “It was a harrowing experience. They came into my house and arrested me. I was led to the Zone 2 Headquarters under escort with the police vehicle blowing the siren. It is ridiculous.”

The former governor confirmed that he was asked questions bordering on the attack on Governor Daniel. He described his treatment in the hands of the police as “sad and unfortunate,” although he said the AIG was “nice and cautious to me.”

According to him he was released around 9.30 pm in the presence of his son.

Apart from Osoba, it was gathered that the police had also quizzed the president of the students union of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Mr. Ojo Abidemi, who reportedly denied that politicians influenced the students to attack the governor. He was said to have condemned the attack “because Governor Daniel does not deserve such from any quarter.”

Ogun state Police Commissioner, Mr. Kunle Efuntayo, said last night that the arrest “was a Zone 2 Affair,” adding that investigations were ongoing.

Governor Daniel’s wife had been attacked in Ilaro on her way to Iwoye to perform a de-worming exercise. The governor who went to confirm the attack on his wife also had his convoy attacked.

The governor, on Thursday told supporters at his Oke Mosan, Abeokuta office that intelligence reports revealed that the master-strategist of the dastardly act was a former governor of the state who held meetings at Ilaro from morning till late afternoon on the same day.

His Commissioner for Information, Mr. Niran Malaolu, on Wednesday alleged that Osoba was responsible for the attack.

Daniel explained that the master-mind of the plot, engineered the attack, employing some students of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro to camouflage through a protest using the power outage in the town as a cover.

But the Alliance for Democracy refuted the allegation, describing it as “mischievous falsehood and a cheap blackmail.”

AD chief scribe in Ogun State, Alhaji Abimbola Awofeso, said the state was mounting a campaign of calumny against the former governor in continuation of what has been happening since the PDP-led government assumed office in the state.

Prominent citizens of the state including President Olusegun Obasanjo had condemned the attack.

According to President Obasanjo, the attack was “barbaric, anti-democratic and uncalled for.”

The wife of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Hannah Idowu Dideolu, expressed shock, even as the traditional rulers also paid solidarity visit to the governor.

Saturday PUNCH, October 23, 2004.

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