RISE AND FALL OF FUNSHO WILLIAMS
Funsho Williams: The man who could have become Lagos Governor and how he was assassinated, Funsho Williamsattended the St. Paul's Catholic school at Ebute Metta and later St Gregory's College, Lagos. In 1968, he studied at the University of Lagos,attaining a degree in civil engineering. He then went on to attend the New Jersey Institute of Technology for his Master's degree.
In 1974, Williams returned to Nigeria and joined the Lagos State civil service. He spent the next 17 years working on construction projects in Lagos State. Approximately 70% of the roads and bridges were built under his stewardship. Williams was a Permanent Secretary by the time he left the civil service in 1991.
He went into business, but he shortly returned to public service, as a Lagos state Commissioner under Colonel Olagunsoye Oyinlola's Military Administratorship.
In the mid-1990s, Williams decided to enter into politics in order that he could formulate policy, rather than just carry it out. He first joined the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP), but after the suspicious death of its leader, General Sani Abacha he moved to the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
After a short time, Williams again switched parties, this time to the People's Democratic Party (PDP).They had won the 2003 elections under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Williams had stood twice before in the Lagos State Governorship (Gubernatorial) election. At the time of his death he was hoping to be nominated as the PDP Gubernatorial candidate for Lagos State. He had vowed to wrest control of the wealthy state from the Alliance for Democracy Party.
On July 27, 2006, Funsho Williams was found bound, strangled, and stabbed at his home in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, an exclusive and wealthy neighborhood in Lagos.
A prosecution witness, said the victim died from lack of air intake, due to manual strangulation.
The prosecution witness, John Obafunwa, stated this before Justice Adeniyi Adebajo of a Lagos High Court, sitting at Igbosere, Lagos, on Wednesday.
Mr. Obafunwa, a professor and Chief Forensic Pathologist of Lagos State, said this was the result of the post-mortem carried out on Mr. William’s corpse. The professor was being cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel, O.A. Akin-Adesomojo.
He said that he visited the scene of the crime on July 27, 2006 at Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi at 5:30 p.m. following a call which informed him about the death. Mr. Obafunwa told the court that he waited for police officers to arrive before he later saw the corpse at 10.00 p.m.
“I saw the body of a middle aged man, identified by the family, having his hands tied and lying face down in a pool of blood on a dagger, wrapped with a newspaper.
“I covered the hands and taped it with a paper to prevent a foreign DNA which may occur during the movement of the body so as not to affect forensic investigations.
“I noticed that the room was scattered along with two other rooms which I checked before the body was moved to Creek Military Hospital and I left the hospital at midnight.
“During the post-mortem examination, myself and two other pathologists at Creek Hospital discovered a cut on the deceased’s forehead and bruises around his neck,” he said.
Mr. Obafunwa, while describing his findings, said that there were deep bruises on the arms and legs of the deceased, which suggested that he tried to restrain somebody from inflicting those bruises on him before his death.
According to him, an X-ray was also carried out on the deceased, which revealed a fracture of the thyroid cartilage (neck bone).
Based on our findings, the deceased’s death resulted from asphyxia or lack of air intake, due to manual strangulation, while the wounds found on the deceased can be described as defence wounds.
“Blood and urine samples, eye fluids, stomach contents, nail scrapings and clippings were also taken by the police for further forensic analysis, after which I made a report.” he added. The counsel to the defendants, Agbara Okezie, however, told the court that he had no cross-examination for the witness.
On July 28, 2006, two people were arrested in connection with his death. One was his campaign manager, and the other was a senator and former Works Minister Kingsley Adeseye Ogunlewe. Ogunlewe was also hoping to be the PDP Gubernatorial candidate
Williams was laid to rest at the Victoria Court Cemetery, Lagos.