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June 12: How FUTA Students Were Framed For Plane Hijack – Pa Attoye



An elder statesman and former Registrar of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Pa William Attoye has absolved four students of the institution of hijacking Nigeria Airways aircraft during the struggle for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

Pa Attoye said the four students of FUTA; Tunde Adeagbo, Tunde Ibikunle, Tunji ‘Light’ Ariyomo, and Niran Kweminu were wrongfully accused by the military government and clamped in detention for the alleged offence, 31 years ago.

The retired university administrator said the youngsters primarily implicated in the plane hijack plot namely Richard Ogunderu, Kabir Adenuga, Benneth Oluwadaisi, and Kenny Rasaq-Lawal, all members of the Movement for the Advancement of Democracy (MAD), were not students of FUTA.

He said the various anti-military rule actions which involved addressing peaceful students’ congresses by the likes of Adeagbo in many tertiary institutions as well as covert pro-democracy information dissemination and sensitization across campuses in the old Ondo State initiated by Ariyomo as part of an emerging campus journalism trend, made the military to beam its searchlight on the students, and the four students were arrested and put in a detention camp somewhere in Oke-Eda in Akure the state capital.

Pa Attoye said the erstwhile students of FUTA were alleged to have been part of the plane hijack plot despite having a foolproof alibi that established and limited their daily routines to within the old Ondo State which included the present Ekiti State.

Pa. Attoye narrated how he visited the students at Oke-Eda detention centre and delivered the message of the FUTA management led by the late Professor Albert Ilemobade who was then the Vice-Chancellor and Mr. B. A. Adebayo, the then Registrar.

Similarly, a retired Professor of English and Communication Studies in FUTA, Professor Bayo Aborisade who was reputed as the Leader of the FUTA anti-military rule intelligential at the time narrated how the students were mobilised for the advancement of democracy.

Aborisade said it was unfortunate that “our students were framed up by the military as plane hijackers due to their stand as anti-military actors”.

While affirming that the four who were arrested in FUTA were bonafide students of the Federal University of Technology Akure, Aborisade provided hints into his roles in scrambling legal support to ensure that no student of FUTA was abandoned during the struggle.

The scholar corroborated Pa Attoye that none of those arrested in Niamey was a student of FUTA.

Aborisade who led from the front during the dark era of military rule and has remained a mentor to many of the students was credited with inspiring them to be courageous and stand up for what is right in the overall interest of the country.