BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Tuesday, 21 November, 2000, 19:44 GMT
Businessman 'beaten 300 times'
Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo
President Obasanjo was detained for three years
A businessman has told Nigeria's human rights commission of the brutal beatings he received in prison during Nigerian military dictator Sani Abacha's regime.

Bayo Osinowo, a close friend of late politician Moshood Abiola, was detained in 1997 and said he was subjected to daily beatings at the hands of General Abacha's security agents.


During my period of detention I went through real hell

Bayo Osinowo
He said that once he was flogged 305 times before he passed out.

The commission, set up by the elected government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, began work last month, and is now in the commercial capital Lagos.

It is intended to examine human-rights abuses in Nigeria since 1966 and is loosely modelled on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The businessman was released several months after General Abacha's death, but never charged with any crime.

One of his alleged captors, who also appeared before the panel, denied all knowledge of the beatings.

Major defence

Major Hamza al-Mustapha said: "I do not know how, why and who arrested him... If it is true that he had been tortured and brutalised, I truly sympathise with him," he said.

General Sani Abacha
General Abacha: Blamed for many human rights abuses
Described as Genaeral Abacha's chief henchman, the major defended his record and said he was "not personally brutal".

"As a soldier, I know the ethics of my profession. I was not power drunk. I did my job to the best of my ability and in the overall interest of this country," he said.

He is currently on trial for two murders and one attempted murder.

He has also has been accused by several witnesses of personally leading brutal beatings.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

03 Sep 99 | Africa
Nigeria: A history of coups
20 Oct 00 | Business
London implicated in Abacha probe
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories