Assassins Murder Journalist
Abayomi Ogundeji, a member of the editorial board of the Lagos-based
private daily, Thisday newspaper was on August 17, 2008, at about
10.30pm local time, shot dead in Dopemu, a suburb of Lagos metropolis by
Ogundeji, was ambushed by the bandits while returning home. Nothing was
removed from the Kia Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) which he was driving.
Reports from the Nigerian Police say armed robbers who had earlier
snatched a car from a couple ambushed him at the spot, ordered him to
stop and open his car door, an order which he was alleged to have
refused to obey and which led to the robbers shooting him to death.
an eye witnessed gave a different account. The unnamed witness said the
late journalist was shot at close range by men in Police uniform who had
mounted a road block at the spot. The witness said he was stopped by the
uniformed men who ordered him to open his door and when he refused to
obey, one of the policemen shot him dead and they then boarded their
vehicle and immediately left the scene, a version unto which the family
Ogundeji who joined the editorial board of ‘ThisDay’ newspaper about
three months ago had worked with several media houses including: ‘The
Guardian’, ‘The Punch’, and the defunct ‘Comet’ newspapers. He was also
Chief Press Secretary to a former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mr. Femi
incident is coming barely two years after the murder of ‘ThisDay’
newspaper editorial board Chairman, Mr. Godwin Agbroko on 22 December
2006 while returning home from the office. His killers have not been
The management of ‘Thisday’ newspaper petitioned the Inspector
General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mike Okiro, asking him to institute a
thorough investigation of his men over the murder. It sent two petitions
to the IGP on the matter: the first on the 18th and second on
the 19th of August.
Mr. Eniola Bello, ‘ThisDay’ newspaper's Managing Director, in the
petition said the paper’s management believes the police know more than
they are making the public believe on the shooting of their worker.
In the first petition, ThisDay said: “We have strong reasons to believe
that policemen on night patrol have a clue to the circumstances
surrounding Mr. Ogundeji’s death.” This they based on the reconstruction
of events of the attack by their Chief Security officer, Mr. Jacob Okolo.
The second petition was based on the report of the incident by another
Nigerian daily, ‘Nigerian Compass’ which investigations said a
resident claimed that he saw the late journalist argue with policemen
shortly before he was shot dead.
The Nigerian Compass newspaper account was corroborated by the news
story of the incident by another independent daily, ‘The Punch’
On August 21, 2008, 21 civil rights groups, including Media Rights
Agenda, under the aegis of Committee of Friends held a press conference
at which they expressed shock and concerns over the incident.
demanded that the Lagos State Police Command to setup an independent
judicial panel of inquiry into the murder and media proprietors to
embark on insurance policy for all journalists in their employment to
address such and similar incidents.