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How we planned to kill Utomi

Posted by By OLA GBAJE on 2007/12/06 | Views: 695 |

How we planned to kill Utomi

A witness sensationally revealed in court on Wednesday, how economic and financial expert, Professor Pat Utomi was targeted for elimination by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha’s killer squad, the Strike Force.

•Witness tells court

A witness sensationally revealed in court on Wednesday, how economic and financial expert, Professor Pat Utomi was targeted for elimination by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha’s killer squad, the Strike Force.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Sunday Michibi gave the startling revelation before a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja at the resumed trial of the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Ishaya Bamaiyi over the February, 1996 attempt on the life of the Guardian publisher, Mr. Alex Ibru.

Testifying as prosecution witness number six (PW6), Michibi told the court how the killer gang was given the instruction to eliminate Utomi on account of his alleged involvement with gang of terrorists who were planning to overthrow Abacha’s regime.
According to the witness, who said he served under the Lagos State Police Command when he was seconded to join the killer squad, the instruction to eliminate the suspected terrorists was received through the army.

According to the witness, based on the instruction and briefing received, the hunt began for Utomi.
“We worked on Pat Utomi to see if we can identify him. His school was located at the back of the Law School,” he said.

However, Utomi was miraculously saved as the killer gang went on another operation in Delta State. According to him, “Our traveling to Delta State prevented us from trailing him again.”
The witness said that the death merchants went to Delta State on the trail of one Isaac Porbeni, also fingered as a terrorist by their instructors.

Like Utomi, the mission to eliminate Porbeni to was also not successful due to the disagreement among the gang that went for the assignment.
He explained that the disagreement was due to his advice against the shedding of blood of an innocent person.

“I was not trained to kill innocent people. The disagreement among the operatives, based on my advice, scuttled the mission to kill Porbeni,” he said.
Testifying further, Michibi corroborated the testimony of PW3, Abdul Muhammed (a.k.a. Katako) on the source of their weapons for the deadly assignments.

Like Katako, Michibi said the A.K. 47 assault rifles were provided by the army through Col Justin Bala Yakubu, the then Commander of Bonny Camp, while stating that the Bonny Camp was their operational base during the bloody assignments.

He told the court that Bamaiyi had instructed them to report to Yakubu on their operations.
Michibi mentioned one Lt Bature and Captain Majaja as other members of the team that trailed Utomi and Porbeni, while noting that the instruction for their elimination came from Bamaiyi.
He told the court that he was sent to Abuja to see the then Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Commassie, who sent him back to Lagos without any specific instruction.

However, when he returned to Lagos, Michibi said: “The Commissioner of Police ordered me to see General Bamaiyi. I went and met Captain Majaja in his office. Bamiyi was then the Commander of Lagos Garrison before he became the Chief of Army Staff”.

Earlier, both the driver, who drove Ibru the day he was shot on Falomo bridge in February, 1996 and the medical doctor that attended to him at St. Nicholas Hospital also gave their testimonies.

According to the driver, Solomon Ogerodimeoka, the shooting of his master was on Friday, February 2, 1996. He said: “On our way to the Alexander House in the evening, getting to Falomo bridge in a light green Peugeot 504, I heard gun shots. I looked at Udi who was the private secretary attached to my oga. Nothing happened to him. The gunshots came from my left side. Blood was all over the car. I escaped from where they were shooting us and took him to the company’s hospital.

He was later taken to St. Nicholas Hospital. I reported the matter at Falomo Police Station, the following day.”
On his part, the doctor, Dr Ayo Shonibere, told the court that Ibru had multiple injuries resulting from flying missiles, such as bullets.

He told the court that Ibru sustained injuries on the head, left eyes, ear and left hand when he was admitted around 7.00p.m.

Shonibare said that no bullet was found in Ibru when the X-ray was carried out on him, but noted that he lost so much blood and fluid that nearly collapsed his veins while his middle finger was later amputated.
The chief medical consultant told the court that the hospital did everything possible to save Ibru’s life by stabilizing his condition before he was flown abroad.

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