Sowore And His Sponsors – The Historical Burden of Deceit – By Nonso Chukwudebe

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“When you graduated shortly after, you visited my office then at Maryland a number of times to intimate me of your intentions to travel abroad to treat yourself.
According to you, the poisonous substances that were injected into your body by the cultists, needed to be flushed out of your system.
A few papers carried it at that time. Then, I remember you had no job.
You eventually traveled abroad on medical grounds to “flush the poisonous substances from your system”.
As a friend, let me apologize for not following the the treatment for more than ten years now, even when you visited me when you were in Nigeria a few years ago.
I hope the treatment is going on well in the US?
Even though it is more than ten years, I know these treatments take some time.
Please, send some of the duly authenticated medical records to me as a friend for me to know how far the treatment has gone.
You may also wish to make it public like the previous letter to me.
This may dispel any insinuation from bad people that you falsified medical papers to travel abroad in search of a better life which is the worst form of corruption.”

Festus keyamo SAN
Lagos based Human Rights activist and Lawyer Jan 10, 2009.

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In retaliation against his attempt to stop the activities of secret cults at the University of Lagos, the then outgoing Student Union President, Omoyele Sowore was attacked by cultists, beaten, stripped naked then injected with lead.
This is the narrative widely claimed by Omoleye Sowore and sold to the then vibrant human rights community.

There are several things wrong with this narrative, the first is the injection of lead through a syringe.
Lead is typically absorbed into the bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract (orally) or the lungs (breathing in dust that contains lead).
According to the story, it wasn’t forced down his throat, it wasn’t forcefully inhaled, it was injected via a syringe, meaning that the lead had to be made soluble.
However lead is not soluble in water, only soluble in very strong acid and alkaline both of which would have done visible tissue damage.
So how come there was no tissue damage?

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The second thing wrong with this narrative is the choice of lead as a killing agent. Unless we have to assume that these very vicious and armed to the teeth cultists did not want Sowore dead, at least not immediately. For if they had managed to find an acid or alkaline to act as a primer for the lead, his body will have passed out most of the lead as urine. You see, lead is a cumulative poison and unlike acute poisons, such as chemicals that can kill quickly by attacking the lungs, lead poisoning happens slowly.
So why the choice of lead as a killing agent when it is well known that lead has to be taken in daily, mounting up in the tissues, especially the bones thus the “body burden” of lead increases over the decades…even that may not be fatal in adults.
So why a lead injection?
Simply put, there are so many other ways the cultists could have killed Sowore asides from a lead injection.
The third thing wrong with the narrative was the nature of his fight against the dangerous cultists.
How did he achieve this if the cultist are as ferocious and vicious as they were made out to be? How exactly did he fight them and why did it take them so long to fight back?
At the time the attack took place Sowore was a sit-tight outgoing Union President, as an election had earlier taken place (a two horse race between Malcolm Ezekiel Fabiyi and Kuti Ezebiro) and Sowore was being pressured to handover to Malcolm, the President elect.
Why stay back to fight alleged cultists when the Student Union Government had a duly elected President? What was the agenda? Who exactly was the man known as ‘Show’ and what led to his fallout with the alleged secret cults.
Unknown to most people, the Sowore Unilag Student Union Presidency was a product of the secret cults he is better known to have fought.
Even that much touted fight was selective as he did not and dared not fight the confraternity that brought him to power.
In the 1990’s, Student Union Politics at Unilag was largely and unobtrusively controlled by one confraternity.
Whenever they did not produce or sponsor a candidate for presidency they orchestrated a scheme that ensured they always had control of the parliament, even when the people they controlled where oblivious to the fact.
From the Presidency of the recently deceased Papa Chris (Odiakachukwu Jones-Nduka) where the confraternity had an alliance with the Presidency as well as key members of parliament….to the charismatic candidacy and subsequent leadership of Mayegun OJ / Red Drum, which was not amenable to control of the apex office however the confraternity’s dominance was achieved at the parliament level.
Why was such control important to the confraternities?
Simple…ULSU at the time was the richest student union government given the number of assets; butteries, shuttle buses, shops etc it had to lease.
Control of the government meant the control of a constant source of patronage thus most confraternities jostled to impose those who in their estimation had sympathies for them.
Sowore Omoyele was rigged into office as a result of a fallout on the eve of the election between the imposing confraternity at the time and ‘Baggies’, their preferred candidate.
Sowore can’t deny that he was approached, and he can’t deny that he didn’t take up the offer.
Anyone who was at the Education Faculty Votes collation center witnessed the maneuvers of heavily armed individuals, actions which led his opponents, both students and student-cultists alike, to brand him a member of this particular confraternity for most of his tenor as student union President.
So when Sowore set up his interrogation and torture chambers in Jaja Hall, imported touts (non-student area boys) as part of his posse and commenced the selective abduction, torture and extortion of alleged secret cult members, none of the other fraternities dared touch him as it was assumed that it was an indirect war waged on the rest of the confraternities by his sponsors.
Incidentally there’s no known record of this lynch mob ever moving against members of this dominant confraternity.
Even when students were being forced to sit on hot-plates, tied to metal bunks and flogged, burnt with hot boiling-rings, all in a bid to extract confessional statements….silence!
It was fear of the imposing confraternity that kept them at bay, not any larger than life image of Sowore.
When things got to a head, all the usually warring confraternities summoned a meeting at ‘One In Town’ (OIT), a popular restaurant within the vicinity of the Unilag School main gate and demanded that the imposing confraternity call their President to order…and that was the first time it was confirmed that Sowore was a mere beneficiary of the confraternity rather than a member…the assault on him happened within 24 hours of this meeting.
The current version of the assault itself is another distorted narrative.
Revisionists have conveniently deleted the fact that Sowore was abducted at Eni Njoku Hall while on a mission with his posse to abduct and torture an alleged cult member.
It was while threatening this individual that he was surrounded, beaten, stripped naked and dragged to the freedom square podium (the first landing of the Makama Bida Hall Fire Escape).
Sowore’s supporters pelted his captors with stones and this gave him the opportunity to jump down from the podium and escape.
I am sure that the police authorities have a report on what transpired thereafter. Sowore’s posse went on a vicious rampaging witch hunt. Several students were stripped naked, viciously beaten to a pulp…and dumped all mashed-up, naked, bleeding…a number had defecated on themselves from the trauma.
That those lifes did not become an Aluu scenario was due to the intervention of the President elect, Malcolm Fabiyi, who arranged for the students to be evacuated to LUTH.
But the rampage didn’t stop there as the mob drove into town in convoys of campus shuttles. Homes of alleged cult members where visited, the mob of touts and students vandalized and looted the homes and private properties of the affected parents…jungle justice…again it was a miracle that no lives were lost.
The lead Injection narrative? Concoted….the assault happened in broad daylight, all the individuals who participated in that assault are known, a number of them where parliamentarians who had become fed up with Sowore’s area-boys peopled lynch mob and where demanding that he relinquished power and handover to the duly elected government of Malcom Fabiyi.
The individual who allegedly injected Sowore with lead is known and has constantly insisted that no such thing happened.
Simply put, Sowore’s lead injection story was concocted as ticket to seek a greener pasture, a narrative that endeared him to the then vibrant Human Rights activists’ community and enabled him get a visa to leave the country.
Lead always leaves a trace in your body and Doctors can tell how much lead a person has been exposed to by measuring the amount of lead in the blood.
Sowore should tell us the amount of lead that was in his blood (usually reported as a quantity per unit of volume i.e. micrograms µg per decilitre). Sowore’s fight against secrect cults was also true..the only part convinently left out was the fact that he never touched or apprehended his sponsor confraternity. Infact the only time any member of this confraternity was ‘fought’ by Sowore’s administration was in his absence, by the lynch mob that operated on the day of his attack, a number of them had their properties looted and destroyed, and only so because Sowore was not available to provide his sponsors with the agreed protection.
So let us assume that all this was in his past, hopefully, this leopard has changed his spots. If not, following his precedence, it is just a matter of time before he falls out with his current sponsors and once again unleashes his lynch mob. So for his sponsor’s sake, let us all hope that Show has turned a new leaf.
By the way, is there any record out there of Omoleye Sowore ever taking up the challenge posed by Festus Keyamo (SAN) in 2009?
It certainly would be interesting to see him acceding to this otherwise very simple request.

Nonso Chukwudebe

n.chukwudebe@gmail.com

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