Funso Williams Stabbed, Strangled

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Funso Williams Stabbed, Strangled

Postby Richard Akindele » Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:44 pm

PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in 2003 election and former Lagos State Works Commissioner, Chief Funso Williams was yesterday killed by suspected assassins in his Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos residence.

His death came barely three weeks after another governorship aspirant on the platform of Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) in Plateau State, Chief Jesse Aruku, was shot dead in Jos, the state capital by unknown gunmen.

However, according to a family source, Chief Williams, an engineer and a top contender for PDP governorship ticket in 2007 was strangulated and butchered by assailants in his study inside his residence on 184 Corporation Avenue, Dophin Estate.

Another account said the late politician's legs and hands were tied in his bedroom before he was shot dead by the assassins between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Daily Champion gathered that late Williams had arrived from a political rally about 1 a.m. yesterday and retired to his bedroom before the hoodlums gained entry to his house.

A member of the family, amidst tears informed our correspondent that the assailants never gave their victim any opportunuity even as he pleaded with them for mercy.

Daily Champion learnt that eight people including four mobile policemen, two private security guards and two house maids (names withheld) have already been arrested and handed over to the police.

Another staff of the household told our reporter that as at the time the assailants got entry into Williams' bedroom, none of the four mobile policemen guiding him was around.

This, according to the sympathizers brought to fore the way the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige was assassinated on December 23, 2001

Following the murder of Mr. Williams, the Deputy National Chairman (South) PDP, Chief Olabode George has ordered the cancellation of the party's political rally slated to hold at Eti Osa local government, yesterday.

Chief George however summoned an emergency meeting of the party's chieftains to deliberate the next line of action.

Confirming Williams' death, Force Police Public Relations Officer (FPPRO), Mr Haz Iwendi said police orderly and other security men attached to Williams have been quizzed.

Iwendi, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) said the assailaints tied his hands and legs before killing him.

According to Iwendi who accompanied the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Sunday Ehindero to Williams' residence, the deceased died in his room.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP) Mr. Emmanuel Adebayo joined other sympathizers who had trooped the house of the deceased to assess the happenings in the premises and console the family members.

Daily Champion recalls that last Sunday loyalists of the former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe clashed with those of the slain Williams thereby causing tension in the state chapter of the PDP.

The conflict started when Senator Ogunlewe who hails from Ikorodu refused to condone the siting of Funso Williams Campaign Offic at Ogbara House on Ayangburem Road. He saw it as an affront.

As meeting of the Williams' group was going on at the campaign office when Ogunlewe's supporters reportedly invaded the venue at about 2:30 p.m. and hot arguments developed into a fracas.

Despite the fact that the police were called in to stop the fighting, scores of supporters from both sides incurred different degrees of injuries.

Daily Champion.
Last edited by Richard Akindele on Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nigeria political murder signals bloody election ahead

Postby Richard Akindele » Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:52 pm

ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigerian politicians have voiced outrage over the murder of a candidate for governor of Lagos, but analysts say violence is built into the political system and warn that the run-up to elections next year will be bloody.

State governors and other senior politicians unanimously condemned the killing of Funso Williams, who was strangled early Thursday in his Lagos house, and urged police not to let his death join a long list of unresolved political murders.

Lagos state Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a rival of Williams, offered a 10 million naira ($78,000) reward for any information that could help capture his killers and banned any political rallies in the state for two weeks in a show of respect.

President Olusegun Obasanjo dispatched the inspector general of police to Lagos to lead the investigation. "The president wants to get to the root of this," said spokeswoman Remi Oyo.

But analysts said the outcry masked the hard fact that violence is part and parcel of political life in Africa's most populous country, which returned to civilian rule in 1999 after three decades of almost continuous military dictatorship.

"Politics is warfare in Nigeria," said Abubakar Momoh, a lecturer in political science at Lagos State University.

"The people behind these murders are politicians who are in good positions, who are in power and struggling to stay in power. Violence has been professionalised. It has become a language that empowers," he said.

"This is going to continue. There is no doubt about it."

CORRUPTION

The presidency and two thirds of the 36 powerful governors' seats are at stake in elections scheduled for April 2007. They should mark the first time one elected government hands over to another since independence from Britain in 1960.

But as the elections near, different forms of politically motivated violence have been on the increase including assassinations, inter-ethnic killings and clashes between paid thugs armed by rival politicians.

Williams was a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party, which is tearing itself apart as power struggles rage over the party ticket for coveted posts.

The roots of political violence in Nigeria are complex.

One element is systemic corruption, which means that political office is seen as a way to get rich. Nigeria is Africa's top producer of crude oil and the spoils for those who can gain access to public funds are abundant.

Obasanjo has launched a crackdown on corruption that has yielded some headline-grabbing results like the impeachment and arrest last year of the governor of oil-producing Bayelsa state.

However, the problem remains widespread at every level of politics and society, and independent watchdog Transparency International still ranks Nigeria the sixth most corrupt country in the world.

Another element is a breakdown of law and order. The low-paid, badly equipped police are widely seen as one of the most corrupt institutions in the country, while the justice system is slow, inefficient and also vulnerable to corruption.

Nigerian newspapers, in their coverage today of the Lagos assassination, published long lists of unresolved political killings since the return to democracy in 1999.

Top of the list is the case of Justice Minister Bola Ige who was murdered in his bedroom in the southwestern city of Ibadan in 2001. His killers have never been identified.

Reuters
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The Man Funso Williams

Postby Richard Akindele » Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:15 pm

Jimoh Babatunde

When he clocked 58 years on May 9 this year, the Williams Campaign Organisation (WILLCO) asked Lagosians and Nigerians to pray for him to live long, enjoy good health and prosperity, little did they know that he had less than three months more to live as he was gruesomely murdered yesterday.

Funso Williams was born to late Olu Williams and his aged mother Ibidun Williams fondly called Mama Red Cross on May 9, 1948. He was said to be fond of his grandmother, Mrs. CA Marinho, who made him realize early in life that there is time for everything.

Guided by that teaching, the young Williams started school at the right age in 1954 at St. Paul's Roman Catholic School, Ebute Metta from where he moved to St. Gregory's College, Obalende in 1962 and the University of Lagos in 1968 where he studied Civil Engineering and finally the New Jersey Institute of Technology for his Masters in 1971.

Armed with degrees from Unilag and the New Jersey Institute in 1974, he joined the Lagos State Civil Service where he retired in December 1991 as Director-General (Permanent Secretary), the position he had been for 12 years as the team leader responsible for the construction of about 70% of the Lagos state roads/bridges.

Among the roads completed were the third mainland bridge, Lekki-Epe Expressway, dualisation of Ikorodu road from Ketu to Owode Onirin, Ajah-Badore-Langbasa road, Opebi link road and Isolo-Egbe road among others in the state.

A man described as a completely detribalized Nigerian, Funso Williams, following the civil service reforms at the time, left to set up his own business but was later called back to work with Col. Oyinlola's government as a Commissioner. This position was later to become a sore point in his political career as his detractors focused only on the faults of the administration he served, they failed to acknowledge that among other projects he delivered were the Opebi link road and bridge within a short period.

Also as Commissioner, the man Funso Williams pioneered the successful use of interlocking stones on Victoria Island as the solution to the perennial failure of asphalted Sanusi Fafunwa street and other roads. This innovation on Victoria Island has since continued.

He eventually decided to go into politics because he said he wanted to influence policies that would improve the lot of the less-privileged. Funso Williams then joined the United Nigeria Conscience Party (UNCP) under the late General Sani Abacha whose death changed political equations as a result of which he moved to the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

However, he later joined the People's Democratic Party (PDP) claiming he was not satisfied with the Ls AD.

Often referred to as gentleman politician, when asked if it is not a paradox given the Nigerian setting to be called a politician and a gentleman, he said "For too long, Nigerians have associated politics with thuggery, insincerity, corruption, opportunism and other vices. But in the last two and half years, Mr. President has embarked on a cleansing programme, which despite criticisms in certain quarters, is yielding visible and invisible results. I am happy this is happening as it justifies why some of us are in politics. Since I have been a politician, I have not been swayed by the dirty politics I see around me."

"On the contrary I have been converting dirty politicians without losing relevance. Despite being a gentleman, I was the leading guber aspirant in UNCP. I have won gubernatorial primaries twice. Firstly in AD and secondly in PDP. Because I was not a NADECO member, AD did not field me as its flag bearer. I 'lost' the 2003 general election in controversial circumstances traceable to change of figures.

"The perpetrators of this act have confessed to Mr. President. Because I am convinced my time will come I remain dogged in my pursuit of the governance of Lagos. God willing as a politician and gentleman I will succeed in 2007, and Lagos will be a better place to live and work. Many decent Nigerians lately have become politicians to combat upstarts and ruffians dominating government. There is hope!"

That hope has now been dashed.

A consummate family man, married to Hilda with four children, he was a director in several companies including Julius Berger, Cappa D'Alberto and Ajaokuta Steel Company. Williams was, before his death, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Maritime Authority.

Vanguard.
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Nigerian senator arrested in assassination probe

Postby Richard Akindele » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:58 pm

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London Police Arrive in Nigeria

Postby Richard Akindele » Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:23 pm

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William's Eyes May Hold 'Picture of Killer'

Postby Richard Akindele » Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:03 am

Foreign detectives invited to assist the Nigeria police investigate the murder of Lagos People's Democratic Party (PDP), governorship aspirant Engineer Funsho Williams, have dropped a bombshell, saying late Williams' eyes hold the key to solving the murder riddle. Sources said three Canadian detectives who reportedly arrived Nigeria on Monday to join their British and Nigerian counterparts, hinted that if they were allowed to analyse the late Williams' eyeballs, they could track down his killers whose images might have been recorded by Williams's eyes.

They said an analysis of the retina, a portion of the eyes that stores images, could expose Williams' killers. According to the detectives Williams's eyes could expose all those he came in close contact with at the time of his death. Findings give credence to this scientific method of unmasking murder suspects long after they had disappeared from the scene of crime. According to an expert, Aandre Moenssens, "every object seen with the natural eye is only seen because it is photographed on the retina. In life, the impression is transitory, it is only when death is at hand that it remains permanently fixed on the retina.

Daily Trust.
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