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Monday, 14 January, 2002, 20:08 GMT
Nigerian murder suspect surrenders
Bola Ige's coffin
Ige was buried last Friday in Ibadan
A man wanted by Nigerian police over the murder of Justice Minister Bola Ige last month has surrendered to the police.


I think I'm not safe

Olugbenga Damola Adebayo
Before handing himself in, Olugbenga Damola Adebayo told reporters that he had not been involved in the Ibadan killing.

Mr Ige was shot dead by armed gunmen on 23 December and the motive remains unknown.

Mr Adebayo told his lawyer that he had been asked to assassinate Mr Ige by powerful politicians in his native Osun state but had refused.

Mysterious

His lawyer, Festus Keyamo, said that he had been offered 5m Naira ($45,000) for the murder but had demanded 15m.

Map of Nigeria

This offer was apparently repeated just two days before Mr Ige was murdered.

Asked why he had given himself up, Mr Adebayo said: "I think I'm not safe."

Mr Keyamo said that there were fears that he might be killed in order to silence him and warned that his client should not die mysteriously in police custody.

Funeral

Before his death, Mr Ige was involved in a power-struggle in his native Osun state.

A week before Mr Ige's murder, a long-running feud between Osun state Governor Bisi Akande and his deputy, Iyiola Omisore, led to the death of a state legislator.

President Olusegun Obasanjo consoles Mr Ige's widow, Atinuka
Obasanjo and Ige were close friends

Mr Ige was seen as Mr Akande's political "godfather".

Other motives suggested for his murder are his opposition to Islamic Sharia law or his fight against drug traffickers.

On Friday, Mr Ige was buried in Ibadan in a service attended by President Olusegun Obasanjo, among others.

Despite being from different political parties, the two were close friends.

See also:

24 Dec 01 | Africa
Troops deployed in Nigeria
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