More facts have emerged over how the former Special Adviser on Political Affairs to ex President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, was murdered on his way to the Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri, enroute Abuja. Details of the murder were made available by one Bernard, surname not included, who rode with the late Adamawa born Gulak, alongside the driver conveying them to the airport.
Bernard, who was in Owerri with Gulak as part of the constitution review delegation, painted a very graphic pictures of events leading to the murder on Sunday. According to him, the late Gulak and himself decided to leave Owerri for Abuja after the conclusion of the sitting. They therefore requested the hotel staff to help them find a cab for the journey to the airport.
“We booked a flight to go to Abuja. The aircraft was United Nigeria Airline, an 8.30am flight. We requested the hotel people to get us a taxi that would take us to the airport. We joined the taxi arranged by the hotel exactly five minutes to 6am.”
Bernard disclosed further that as the taxi headed along Aba road onward the airport, it was blocked, prompting him Bernard to request that the barricade be removed. He was however, advised to his his peace as it would be risky to do so particularly so that five serving Airforce personnel were gunned down the day before for attempting to remove the blockade. Following the disclosure in addition to their pressing need not to miss their flight, they had to agree with a suggestion by the cab driver to take an alternative route.
“The driver asked if he could take an alternative route and we… When I said we, I meant myself and my late colleague. We asked him (driver) how long it would take to get to the airport. He said about 20 to 30 minutes since the road was virtually free.”
Bernard added however, that their cab was intercepted at Obiagwu junction somewhere in Ngor Okpala local government area of the state. According to him, it was at the junction they met the gunmen who ordered them out of the cab and lie on the ground. Gulak, he said, was was shot directly on his head.
“About 15 minutes later, we asked him if we were close to the airport, he said yes, that we had passed through Mbaise. About two minutes to the airport, we got to a place called obianu… obianuju or something. At one sharp bend, we saw three vehicles, two men lying down, eight boys jumping up and down, one Lexus 360, one Toyota Camry and one other van. They were just jumping and came to our vehicle and asked the driver to come down, the driver obeyed. Before they took the key from the driver they checked the fuel gauge and said ‘oh, there is fuel here.
They ordered the driver to lie down and asked why he was moving around when there was supposed to be a lockdown order by their people.
We were all shivering. At that time, my colleague and I were at the back . Then, two of them opened the door, one opened the side where I was seated and the other opened the side where my friend was seated. They said, you people should come down. Who are you? Lie down, lie down, lie down. At the same time they were jumping up and down.
One of them engaged the driver, another was questioning me while the third was questioning Gulak. They spoke in Ogoni dialect and I made a comment. I could speak the language. That’s probably what saved me. The next thing I heard was, ‘Oh my God!’ The second one had shot Gulak in the forehead.
At that time, I was traumatized. I thought I was already dead. I didn’t know what was happening again. The next thing they did was to drive away. That is all I can remember,” Bernard volunteered.
Bernard added in his report to the police that the gunmen that attacked them were the same that blocked a truck loaded with onions.
“After the Police killed some of the suspects the same day, I identified the one that engaged me among them. I also recognized the burnt suspect as the one who shot at my friend, Gulak.”
It would be recalled that the police accused both the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its militant forster child, Eastern Security Network, ESN, of complicity in Gulak’s gruesome murder. However, the group, through its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, denied any connection explaining the accusing is not only false but it is an attempt by the Nigerian state to find an excuse for attacking both IPOB and ESN.
Eye witness accounts, including that of the driver, lent credence to the position of the police. For instance, the cab driver gave a vivid description of the gunmen and their get-away vehicles, including a silver coloured, 2005 model Toyota Camry, a golden colour, 1998 Model Toyota Sienna, a white coloured Toyota Hilux and a golden colour Lexus RX 330, also positively identified the gang that lay in wait for the police at the onion distribution point as their attackers. He also identified three out of the four vehicles recovered from the scene as those used by the attackers.
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