How Buhari jailed me for 42 years over 'corruption', Bisi Akande - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Monday, December 13, 2021

How Buhari jailed me for 42 years over 'corruption', Bisi Akande

Adewale Adedoyin

The former National Interim Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande narrated how the military coup of December 31, 1983, toppled the government of former President Shehu Shagari and ended the second republic.

Chief Akande, who said this at the public presentation of “My Participations”, his autobiography, said on January 2, 1984, he heard an announcement on radio that all public officials like governors, their deputies, legislators and commissioners that served between 1979 and 1983 should report at the state police headquarters at Eleyele, Ibadan, Oyo state.

Akande had previously served as secretary to the state government (SSG) and deputy governor to Bola Ige, former governor of Oyo.


“Early in the morning of Saturday, December 31, 1983, my radio strangely began to play martial music which attracted my attention. It was a military coup and the announcer introduced himself as Brigadier Sani Abacha,” Akande wrote.

“On the morning of January 4, 1984, I reported to the police headquarters at Eleyele where I met a crowd of top UPN and NPN leaders. Suddenly, we had become men and women of yesterday and the policemen on duty treated us with little respect.

“Most of us were panicky and sad. At last, the mini-buses arrived at the premises of the Nigerian Maximum Security Prisons in Kirikiri and we were ordered to disembark. That day, some of the fallen big men of yesterday wept like babies.

“One day, former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme joined us in Kirikiri. He appeared visibly perplexed, shaken with emotion and he wept bitterly as he was shoved into his cell on our floor. Unlike the Vice-President, President Shagari was being detained in a luxurious Federal Government Guest House in Ikoyi.”

In the autobiography, the author was, however, silent on the military dictator who masterminded the coup and headed the new government. It was Major-General Muhammadu Buhari.


Akande said he was later granted temporary bail with warning not to talk to the press or travel out of the country.

He was again hurled into Agodi prison after he addressed the press to defend Bola Ige following a $12 million contract scam levelled against the former governor by the military authorities.

“My reaction embarrassed the military government and it immediately ordered my re-arrest. I was declared wanted on the radio and my name was broadcast intermittently. I surrendered myself again on Friday, March 30, 1984,” the author wrote.

“Decrees were also promulgated suspending some parts  of the constitution dealing with fair hearing and human rights, especially Chapter IV. The decrees stipulated a minimum of 21-years imprisonment for convicted persons.

“It was a perverse endorsement for a regime that had toppled the constitution and abrogated the citizen’s right to defend their fundamental human rights before the courts. I braced myself for the ordeal ahead.”

According to him, he and Ige were made to face secret trials at the military tribunal in Mokola Barracks, Ibadan, Oyo state.

“On the 16th October 1984, Chief Bola Ige and I were found guilty on a two-count charge of conspiracy and unlawful enrichment of our political party — the UPN. The tribunal sentenced each of us to twenty-one years imprisonment on each count to run concurrently. The immediate import of that judgement to me was that I was being jailed for forty-two (42) years.”


The author was later released on August 16, 1986 after Ibrahim Babangida, a general, ousted Buhari in another coup the previous year.

In subsequent, chapters Akande said he convinced Bola Tinubu, former Lagos governor, to support Buhari as the presidential candidate of their newly-formed party.

Akande said he was convinced of Buhari’s “pious personal integrity and charisma”.

“In the new year of 2013…It was my first time of meeting Buhari in his home and I was attracted to his personal values and austere life. We joined him at lunch, chatted heartily and agreed to work together again. Things began to happen quickly thereafter,” he wrote.

He however commended Buhari, saying it is unfair for Nigerians to blame the president for the country’s current challenges

Speaking at the Africans event, President Muhammadu Buhari described Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a “perfect public officer” with whom he could go into the jungle.

Buhari further said the author has retained his “inflexible integrity” in and out of public office, never accepting or offering bribes.

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