Dele Giwa. It's been more than 30 years since he was assassinated, yet the incident remains a mystery till this very day. The Nigerian journalist, who was killed by a letter bomb. Sumonu Oladele Giwa was born on March 16, 1947, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
From a very poor background, whose family worked in the royal abode of Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the Ooni of Ife, Giwa enrolled at Local Authority Modern School in Lagere, Ile-Ife before moving to Oduduwa College when his father got a job there as a laundry man. In 1977, he earned his BA in English at the Brooklyn College, New York City, United States of America.
He was at The New York Times, where he worked as a news assistant before he came to Nigeria to resume at the Daily Times. Together with three other journalists, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed, he formed the Newswatch in 1984 which carved a niche for itself in investigative journalism.
On October 19, 1986, at about 12:27pm somewhere at First Foundation Hospital, Opebi, Ikeja he said his final words: “They got me!” He found himself in that hospital after he received a mail bomb which he thought "must be from the president”. 32 years after that incident, the only question still remains: 'Who killed Dele Giwa?'
In his lifetime, Giwa was married to three wives whom he married and divorced at different times of his life. First, in 1974, he married an American nurse. Then he married the Bakassi Activist Senator Florence Ita Giwa but the union lasted for 10 months. On July 10, 1984 he married Olufunmilayo Olaniyan and they were together till his death.
on Sunday, June 8, 2009, SaharaReporters conducted an exclusive interview with Professor Taiyemiwo Ogunade who spoke specifically about the role of former military administrator of Lagos State Buba Marwa, in the assassination of the journalist.
Below is an excerpt of the interview with Ogunade confirming who killed Dele Giwa:
SaharaReporters: Do you know who delivered the bomb that killed Dele Giwa?
Ogunade: I believe that Buba Marwa did it. Some Mamman Vatsa boys told the full story in New York during a visit to my college to lobby our college to accept to train Nigerian military officers. Ambassador Olusola was on that entourage. [My informant] told me Dele Giwa was killed because he was in possession of a tape containing Vatsa’s testimony before the military tribunal. For four hours, Vatsa requested to tell the full story about how the Babangida regime was operating and his knowledge of the workings of IBB’s mind. He pointed out that after Halilu Akilu and Col. A.K Togun of the military intelligence prepared the parcel it was handed over to Buba Marwa to deliver to Dele Giwa. Marwa is a well–known “IBB boy”. But I was the one who gave Dele Giwa the tape.
SaharaReporters: How did you get the tape?
Ogunade: Vatsa had a copy made by his friends in the tribunal and smuggled out to me and I “loaned” it to Dele Giwa who got on the case immediately. I still don’t know how Dele Giwa found out that I had the tape till this day.
He also later exposed Ibrahim Magu of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC) stating that “When Marwa showed up to run for president, I was the one who petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate him. He confessed to money laundering in handwritten statements to the EFCC, but today he is the ambassador of Nigeria to South Africa. The police officer that investigated him, Ibrahim Magu, is permanently suspended from the police force after he was humiliated by the EFCC. It is a shameful country".