Obit: Bamidele Aturu, Attorney who deployed legal services to the people, dead at 49 – Tola Adenle

July 11, 2014



AturuLawyer Aturu, doing what he did most – and best: defending the rights of the masses through the legal process.  [Picture from Google Images.]

Mr. Bamidele Aturu, an attorney who worked tirelessly for the masses, a human rights advocate cut from the same cloth as late Gani Fawehinmi in representing the voice of the voiceless, is dead at 49.

Lawyer Aturu earned his activist Stripe during the Babangida era the earlier part of which sent me back to the States but you cannot hide a good thing for long because it did not take long after my return before I started reading of the young man who was not given his discharge certificate from the country’s National Service because he refused to shake the hands of a military governor for the military’s undemocratic role in governance.  By 2003, he was already treading in the footsteps of great activists who would run for political offices that they knew could never be theirs because of the built-in mechanisms that guaranteed losses for those who dare challenge the status quo in Nigeria.  Aturu lost the Lagos governorship race to A.D.’s Asiwaju Tinubu whose first term assured a return victory.

Aturu fought on championing human rights causes and using his legal career to further such.  He fought tirelessly to right the many wrongs that are deeply entrenched in the Nigerian political and social systems and it was his gallant fight during retired General Obasanjo’s (rGO) ill-fated Third Term that will forever stand as a testament to what a single individual can do  – even if, in the corruption cesspool that Nigeria had become by then – to fight the cancer of the Nigerian political system.

rGO had wasted millions and millions – perhaps – billions of Naira for the make-belief hearings in the so-called zones which were total shams but which were supposedly geared to letting people go to the centers closest to them when the sham-trains arrived and voice their opinions!  Lawyer Aturu made the Osogbo stop on what was a gravy train – that one did not need the abandoned train station like others in Nigeria, no thanks to humongous trucking companies that paralyzed the rail system – his goal of testing the people input.

Actually, above is a bit incorrect.  rGO did not have the Third Term charade agenda needing people’s consent as such but a purported Constitutional nonsense – pardon me – the heart of which was his term elongation, better still Life Presidency project which he did not really want because he would get it if he asked his god (the god of Nigeria, not the Almighty).

Aturu was arrested and not allowed to even address the sham delegation but got the type of treatment that those that are not only opposed to government but who made corruption-fighting their mission, always receive in the hands of “security operatives:  he was reportedly beaten.

His words about Southwestern Nigeria’s governors’ – minus Lagos State, of course – being deep in corruption which he claimed forced them to kowtow to rGO will forever remain immortal: your hands are “drenched in blood” …

As the Yar Adua charade opened another sorry chapter in Nigeria’s never-ending saga, Lawyer Aturu was one of the eminent Nigerians who asked him to resign immediately in December 2009 and “unconditionally hand over to the Vice-President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to complete the current term of office”. Jonathan, the group said, should then conduct the next general elections in 2011 and the elections should be based on the report of the Electoral Reform Committee which was headed by former Chief Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais.

How many of his courageous activist and human rights fights can we list but they will all forever remain part of his contributions towards an equitable Nigeria and testimony to a selfless life.

May his soul rest in peace.


FRIDAY, JULY 11. 2014.  3:45 p.m. [GMT]




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One Comment on “Obit: Bamidele Aturu, Attorney who deployed legal services to the people, dead at 49 – Tola Adenle”

  1. Falade A.G. Says:

    It is human to feel sad at a loss of a perceived upright man. It is also the same feeling of grief experienced by close relatives of a cruel man like Abacha. So, what’s responsible for this commonality between two obviously different situations? It’s the feeling that such a human being that has passed on, will never be seen PHYSICALLY again. Yes, that’s true. But, it is also very true that we can establish a line of communication with the departed souls, especially those noble ones. To make myself clearer, I’ll like to posit that the most important thing in life is to live CONSCIOUSLY, but how long is immaterial.

    I wish Mr. Aturu a joyful activity in the great beyond.



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