By RICHARD AKINNOLA
I cherish friendship. I pray l don’t part ways with long-standing friends because of politics.
Before Abacha put them asunder, they were the best of friends. Gani Fawehinmi and Dr Olu Onagoruwa. They were like a tag team. In those days of Babangida dictatorship, there were no GSM phones. But both friends made is a point of duty to call each other at about midnights, abusing the Babangida junta through their land phones.
Gani later explained that it was deliberate because he knew their phones were bugged; that the security men should listen to the abuses. Each time Gani was arrested, Olu, as he fondly called him, was usually his lawyer in court and vice versa.
In 1986, when he wrote his Will following his commencement of this battle with the government over the murder of Dele Giwa, Gani made Onagoruwa one of the executors of his Will.
Then came Abacha in November 1993 and the offer of Onagoruwa as the Attorney-General of the Federation. Gani warned him not to accept, that the government just wanted legitimacy by appointing a person of his calibre, stating that it was dangerous for him. Lt- General Oladipo Diya, the Chief of General staff in Abacha government and Onagoruwa’s Odogbolu kinsman, persuaded him to accept. He did and that marked the parting of ways between the two long-time friends. Gani removed Onagoruwa as one of the executors of his Will. They were no longer on speaking terms.
Abiola was still in the gulag. Human rights abuses peaked. Few years later, some terrible Decrees were churned out without his knowledge as AGF. He felt slighted, insulted and mulled pulling out of government which he did. Other accounts said he was removed. But the establishment gave him an indirect warning that he could not jump ship.
They assassinated his son, Toyin, a lawyer. Onagoruwa got depressed and suffered stroke. Despite their parting of ways, Gani and his wife still paid a condolence visit to the Onagoruwas.
The rest is history.