BY OUR REPORTER
The sacked national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, earlier today, September 1, 2020 survived an auto crash that claimed the lives of some policemen and also left others critically injured.
Oshiomohole’s statement is a confirmation of Midwest Herald breaking story on the accident on September 1, 2020. Oshiomhole spoke through his media Assistant, Mr. Victor Oshioke.
The release reads: “…today Tuesday September 1, 2020, there was a motor accident involving the convoy of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, along Benin Lagos by-pass before Oluku junction.
“The convoy was headed to Usen Community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, where Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was expected to appear at a campaign rally alongside Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC governorship candidate in the September 19, 2020 election in the state, when a trailer driving in the same direction veered off its course, hit the back up Toyota Hilux vehicle carrying seven policemen, forcing it off the road, into the bush and rammed into the Sports Utility vehicle carrying Comrade Oshiomhole, causing substantial damage.
“We are sad to report that two police personnel in the Toyota Hilux truck lost their lives while two others are in critical condition receiving treatment at a hospital in the state.
“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other persons in the convoy , apart from those indicated above did not sustain any injuries.
“It is pertinent to state, without fear of contradiction, that the convoy of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was maintaining legal speed limits when this incident occurred. This explains why the trailer, travelling in the same direction over ran the Hilux truck off the road and still hit the SUV carrying Comrade Oshiomhole, causing substantial damage.”
However, like it happened in 2012 when four journalists met their untimely death in a similar road accident that involved Oshiomhole, the diminutive and unbridled labour leader turned politician has blamed the incident on assassination attempt.
According to him, “…without prejudice to police investigations, eyewitnesses account of the incident suggest, and we believe rightly too, that this was an assassination attempt, targeting Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“Finally we call on the security agencies to do everything possible to unravel the circumstances surrounding this incident, especially because of the threat to the life of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the violence which has been directed towards him and those around him in recent times.”
It’s curious to explain that Oshiomhole had in the past accused his perceived political opponents for similar auto accidents that trailed his tenure as governor of Edo State.
The accident occurred on April 28, 2012 along Auchi-Warrake road when Oshiomhole’s back-up vehicle carrying security personnel and the Government House Press bus had a head-on collision with a lorry.
Oshiomhole was returning from a political campaign where he received some decampees, including the former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rev. Peter Obadan at Owan East Local Government.
Those that lost their lives were the driver of the press crew bus whose name was given as Samson, Olatunji Jacob, a reporter with the Independent Television (ITV), George Okosun also of the ITV and a cameraman of the Africa Independent Television (AIT), Fidelis Ohani. The latter was embedded in the 2007 campaign that brought Oshiomhole into office.
The lucky journalists that sustained life threatening injuries were Bright Osifo of the Edo Broadcasting Service; George Enofe, Government House photographer; David Acha a cameraman with the Nigerian Observer and Paul Ezenwa, a cameraman with DBN.
Others are Rosemary Obayuwana of Bronze FM; an official of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mrs. Obamogie and three others from the State Ministry of Information.
The Chief Security Detail of Oshiomhole and other security personnel were also in critical injured.
Oshiomohole wasted no time to conclude that the tipper driver was planted by the opposition to eliminate him.
Speaking through through then Director, Media and Publicity of his campaign organisation, Prince Kassim Afegbua, he insisted that “…the tipper truck emerged from the opposite direction and rammed into the flag vehicle of the Governor before crashing into several other vehicles in the convoy leaving three people dead and several others in critical condition.
“The Comrade Governor’s back-up vehicle was badly affected as well as three other vehicles conveying security officers and members of the Governor’s Press Crew; the Comrade Governor’s vehicle escaped by the whiskers.
“The Governor is also recovering fast from the shock of the incident as it could have been worse if the tipper truck driver had succeeded in his dastardly mission. At first, the driver of the tipper truck attempted to escape but was quickly apprehended by sympathizers.”
“The Governor has ordered full scale investigation to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of this unfortunate incident which claimed the lives of three young, brilliant and very hardworking journalists at this moment of the take-off of the Governor’s re-election campaigns.”
He alleged foul play in the incident and asked the Police to unravel the circumstances that led to the incident.
He explained that their suspicion was buoyed by the fact that there have been series of threats and boastful statements from the opposition camp, expressing very crude desperation about the July 14, 2012 gubernatorial election in the State as do or die affair.
But on July 2, 2012, the Police dismissed Oshiomhole’s allegation and insisted in their report that the owner of the truck that rammed into Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s convoy on April 28, of that year, along Auchi-Warrake Road, Salisu Danjuma, and the driver of the truck, John Michael, were members of his Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State.
This was one of the 18 findings that was contained in the Police investigation upon which they charged the duo of Danjuma and Michael before an Afuze Magistrate Court. They were charged with conspiracy and murder of three journalists in the convoy.
The report explained that “the suspicion that this accident may have been the handiwork of political opponents of the governor was thoroughly investigated and so far, there is no evidence whatsoever to support such suspicion.”
It also stated that “in the absence of any conspiratorial evidence whatsoever, it may be illogical to assume that members of the governor’s party (ACN) arranged and executed the incident of the April 28 involving the governor and his entourage.”
The police further claimed that tbey quizzed three suspects, including Michael, driver, Agho Awen, the truck conductor and one Thomas Irivboye, who was suspected to have made implicating statements about the incident, and added that eight other persons who were invited and interrogated in the course of investigation volunteered useful statements.
Those interrogated included, DSP Adekoye Ezekiel, Escort Commander of Governor Oshiomhole’s convoy, Danjuma, owner of tipper truck, Dr. Bruno Oshionebo, Chairman Transition Committee, Etsako West LGA, Olorunimbe Ozemoye, contractor to Etsako West LGA, Benedict Momoh, sub-contractor who engaged tipper driver, Hon. Patrick Imokhai, Special Assistant on Security to Chairman, Transition Committee, Etsako West LGA, Cpl Isa Abdullahi, IPO from Auchi Division and Mr. Vincent Osawaru, Vehicle Inspection Officer in Auchi.
The report quoted Danjuma to have admitted being a member of ACN and knowing Olorunimbe Ozemoya, Benedict Momoh and Michael as members of ACN.
The truck driver was reported to have admitted that “…on his way after he had taken one trip of laterite to the site along Warrake road, he suddenly sighted the headlights of vehicles on convoy coming towards him from opposite direction but there was no sound of siren.
“On sighting the convoy, he became cautious and veered off the road to the right side of the road to give way to the convoy, but as he tried to control the vehicle to the road, the steering suddenly hooked and he immediately applied the brakes but the brakes failed as a result of which he rammed into the convoy of the vehicles which he later discovered was that of the governor of Edo State.
“He also said that when the accident occurred, he managed to come out of the accidented vehicle but for fear that he might be lynched by the governor’s escort, he ran to Auchi Police Station and reported himself.
“He further stated that he had no intention of killing anyone and denied being sent or hired by any person(s) to kill the governor or any member of his entourage for that matter.”
In view of Oshiomhole’s shadow-boxing records, his latest accusation may yet be another false accusation, a development that has become his trademark.