The untold story behind Adeleke’s tragic death

Fresh facts have emerged on the last moments of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, a former governor of Osun State, who died suddenly, last Sunday.

Events shortly before he gave up the ghost at a private hospital in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, seemed to have lent credence to widespread belief that he was poisoned.

Adeleke, who hailed from Ede community, was the first civilian governor of Osun State and a serving senator, for a second time, before he died.

One of the politician’s domestic aides, who spoke to our correspondent in their Ede country-home, said his boss was hale and hearty before he went to attend the burial ceremony for the mother of one of his political supporters, simply identified as Amobi, in Kuta, a small town in Aiyedire Local Government area of the state, on Saturday.

The close aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the former governor did not take any food during his first outing in Kuta, but that he ate some pieces of meat at a wedding ceremony he later attended in another town, Iwo, contrary to his usual habit of abstaining from eating at social functions.

He added that his boss also drank some wine during the ceremony.

Upon returning home in the wee hours of the following day, Adeleke complained of severe stomach ache, leading to his death, his aide revealed.


According to the aide, who was always around his boss, Adeleke “only danced and ‘sprayed’ currency notes on the host at the first event he attended in Kuta.

“I was surprised to see oga (Adeleke) eat meat at the wedding ceremony, because he did not always eat at social functions; but he sometimes took drinks.”

It was also gathered that the deceased politician appeared tipsy by the time he got back home in Ede, around 12 midnight, having reportedly taken some shots of his favourite wine, Remy Martin Cognac.


At home, Adeleke was said to have immediately begun a meeting with some of his party loyalists, who had been waiting for him while he was away for the social events.

The meeting was said to have centred on his plan to succeed Governor Rauf Aregbesola in 2018.

The aide recalled amid sobs, “He just took delivery of about 10 branded campaign vehicles for his governorship ambition, held a political meeting for a while, and afterwards slumped.

Oh! The entire house was thrown into pandemonium.”

But after the meeting, which ended around 2:00am on Sunday, Adeleke was said to have first complained of pains in one of his legs, “which was not unusual.”

According to the source, the senator sustained a leg injury sometime ago, and had since been nursing it.

It was learnt that following Adeleke’s complaint, a male nurse, who had just been transferred from Ede to the Osun State Hospital in Ile-Ife, Mr. Alfred Aderibigbe, was invited to attend to him.

Aderibigbe, who lives at the back of Adeleke’s house, worked at the state clinic in Ede before his transfer to Ile-Ife by the state government.

It was also learnt that the nurse had always attended to Adeleke’s health complaints whenever the lawmaker was at home.

The nurse was said to have administered an intravenous painkiller on him. But not quite long after this, Adeleke was said to have also taken another pain relief drug, popularly known as Alabukun.


The source, however, recalled that by 4:am last Sunday, the senator began to complain of severe stomach ache.

The aide said, “When I came to oga’s apartment around 5:am, I heard people shouting his name repeatedly. I rushed into the room where he was lying. We began to hit his chest repeatedly to revive him, because he appeared lifeless. We went to call ‘the doctor’, but he said we should take him to the hospital. A few minutes after we rushed him to Beckets Hospital in Osogbo (17.4km away) the doctor said he had given up the ghost on arrival. I was shocked.”

It was, however, gathered that the nurse that allegedly treated Adeleke, when he complained of leg pains in the wee hours of Sunday, was invited for interrogation by the police in the state.

The medic was said to have been quizzed on Monday, following reports that the senator died as a result of an overdose of administered drugs.


However, the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, denied media reports that the police arrested a nurse (described as quack doctor in some sections) in connection with the death, saying the command did not arrest anyone. On Wednesday, the Osun State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association also denied reports that one of its members was arrested in connection with some unprofessional conduct leading to Adeleke’s death. The state Chairman, NMA, Dr. T. O. Olajumoke, and Secretary, Dr Olalekan Ajayi, said no medical doctor was involved, implicated or arrested in connection with Adeleke’s death. “We wish to state that no doctor was involved, implicated or arrested as being purported in some media,” the association had said.


Senator Isiaka Adeleke

Meanwhile, the late Adeleke’s family members said on Wednesday that the cause of his death had yet to be known by anyone, including the doctors, who carried out an autopsy on his remains.

Addressing journalists at the deceased’s country-home in Ede, the family members also said that the two-term senator, who represented Osun West Senatorial District in the upper chamber, did not take ill before his sudden death last Sunday.

Speaking on behalf of the family members, many of who still looked distraught, the deceased’s younger brother, Dr. Deji Adeleke, urged Nigerians to i gnore the rumour making the rounds that the lawmaker died of an ailment or of overdose of painkillers.

Deji, who is also the Chairman of Adeleke University, Ede’s Governing Council (the university is owned by a younger brother to the deceased senator), declined to answer questions from journalists at the press conference, saying, “Our brother’s death was extremely painful and we are still grieving.”

Flanked by other family members, Deji further said, “We invited you, journalists, to correct some of the wrong information that has been flying all round the social media. “I want to thank God Almighty for the life of our brother that passed away -Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke. God said we should always be grateful. It is extremely painful and we are still grieving.

“He was our hero and the pain will take a little while to go away. He was not sick before he died. We thank God for what he was able to achieve in his 62 years on earth. All we came here to say is that my brother was a Muslim but we had to delay his burial in order to do autopsy or what other people call post mortem in order to determine the cause of his sudden death.”


However, the report of the autopsy carried out on the late senator at the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital in Osogbo is still being awaited.

The deceased’s younger brother informed the public that the autopsy report would take two weeks to be ready, though the remains of the late senator had been committed to m o t h e r earth last Monday.

“The doctor who carried out the autopsy said it was going to take one to two weeks to have a detailed report. We don’t have the results of the autopsy yet. Everything that you have in the social media is rumour. We want you (journalists) to help us correct that impression,” he said.

“We should be allowed to mourn him peacefully and people should not cause violence or disrupt the peace on account of his (Adeleke’s) name,” Deji pleaded.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governors Ayodele Fasoye, Ibikunle Amosun, Aliko Dangote, Niyi Adebayo, traditional rulers, spiritual leaders and other people; who he said had consoled the family.

“We also thank the people of Osun State and we want to plead with everyone again to be peaceful because we want to have a peaceful ceremony that is left to be done. We are not pointing fingers at anyone yet until we have the results,” he declared.


Political analysts have said that Adeleke’s death has created a void in the politics of Osun State, especially in the run-up to the 2018 governorship election.

It is believed that his sudden exit looks certain to deprive the Ede community of taking another shot at the governorship seat, come next year.

Adeleke, from Osun West District, was believed by many as one politician who had the capacity to win the governorship ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress under a free and fair contest, and even cap it up with a resounding victory at the governorship election.

In spite of his inability to make any significant impact on the state’s political turf after the aborted Third Republic, Adeleke retained the loyalty of his supporters in the state.

This worked to his advantage in 2007, when he defeated Senator Mudashiru Hussein of the defunct Action Congress in the contest for the Osun West senatorial seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The ACN, however, later took over the state, following a court judgment sacking the then Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s PDP government.

It, therefore, became impossible for Adeleke to return to the Senate after the 2011 elections, staying back in the PDP.

In the run-up to the 2014 governorship election in Osun State, some PDP stalwarts within and outside the state saw Adeleke as the only potent contestant capable of dislodging Governor Rauf Aregbesola and convinced him to run.
According to analysts, although he picked up the gauntlet, the Presidency was not too disposed to his candidacy because of the thinking that, having just delivered Ekiti State to the PDP at the time, getting back Osun, without Adeleke was also possible, especially because Governor Ayodele Fayose and Senator Iyiola Omisore, who the Presidency wanted to field then for the polls, were best of friends.

And since Osun and Ekiti are neighbouring states, getting assistance from Ekiti during the election would be possible. Adeleke was eventually forced out of the PDP, and he did not waste time in pitching his tent with the APC.

There, he backed Aregbesola’s return for another term as governor. Adeleke’s defection, analysts said, signalled an early defeat for the PDP even before the conduct of the poll. A year after, the APC compensated Adeleke with a return ticket to the Senate. And he won.

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