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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

TEN YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF ENGR FUNSHO WILLIAMS




Nigeria has witnessed the gruesome murder of many people associated with politics within the democratic and military administration. Funsho Anthony Williams belonged to the class of those murdered during the 4th republic in Lagos State.

Williams was referred to as the ‘Omoluabi Eko’ meaning the Gentleman of Lagos. He was born, May 9, 1948. He he attended the St. Paul's Catholic school, Ebute-Meta; St. Gregory College, Ikoyi before proceeding to the University of Lagos for his Bachelors’ degree in Civil Engineering. Upon completion, he went to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, United States of America for his Masters’ degree.
He returned to work for the Lagos State Government and he retired willing after 17 years as a Permanent Secretary to join politics. He became a Commissioner for Works under Colonel Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s military administration.

As typical of Nigerian politicians, he started out with the United Nigeria Congress Party in the mid-1990s; he joined Alliance for Democracy at the death of General Sani Abacha; he stepped down for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to become the Governor of Lagos; thereafter he joined the People’s Democratic Party in 2003 after President Olusegun Obasanjo won the President election on the platform of the party before he met his untimely death on July 27, 2006 at his Ikoyi residence.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) at the time of his death was Sunday Ehindero while the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) was Adebayo Adeoye. Adeoye in a statement after inspecting his residence said his body was lying face down, hands tied, blindfolded and blood was on the floor. The four policemen at his residence and six other suspects namely Bulama Kolo; Musa Maina; David Cassidy; Tunani Sonani; Mustapha Kayode and Okponwasa Imariabie were arrested.

The investigation of the death of Williams was not handled by the Nigerian Police Force alone, British detectives were involved to unravel his assassins. However, Prof John Obafunwa, the Chief Forensic Pathologist of Lagos State testified before the court that his death resulted from asphyxia (lack of oxygen) due to manual strangulation.

He was buried at Victoria Court Cemetery in August 2006 with mammoth crowd  that can be akin to that of Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe; Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo; Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola. Seven months after his death, the Lagos State Government immortalized him by naming the former Western Avenue after him in February 2007. Although the political class cannot be vindicated entirely from his death, political bigwigs were mentioned at different points in connection with his death.
The late Funsho Williams
The death of Funsho Williams remained one of the many deaths that had not been resolved over the years. Lagos State had witnessed high profile politicians; some of them include Pa Alfred Rewane; Alhaja Kudirat Abiola; Engr Adesoji Dina and many other people. Nigerians want a thoroughly developed forensic unit of the police force that can unravel murder cases and an effective judicial system

First published onNigerian Reporter
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