Vanguard, October 3, 2010
My husband, Mr Saka Kasumu was a photographer with the Daily Times of Nigeria in the 1960’s.He said one morning in January 1966. he had gone to the Daily Times newsroom to check if there were photo assignments to be covered. He said he was browsing through a newspaper when a call came through the telephone on the News Editor’s desk. When he picked it a voice said “is that Daily Times?”
He said ‘yes’ and the caller disclosed that the body of the Prime Minister had been discovered in a bush on the way to Otta. He became very anxious, trying to think what to do next. He then went down to the next floor where they had Features Department, Spear Magazine, e.t.c. he stood on the balcony, trying to figure out what to do with this great information the telephone caller gave him.
Just then a reporter Segun Osoba rode into the Daily Times premises on his Vespa motorcycle. Photographer Kasumu was very happy and excited to see a reporter who would handle the story. He shouted “Segun Segun duro duro”(Segun, Segun wait, wait) he ran down to meet Segun with the hot news saying “A ti ni exclusive”, jeka lo’.(we have an “exclusive” let’s go) Segun parked his Vespa motorcycle and rode with Kasumu on his Lambrelta motorcycle. He said Segun kept asking “nibo la n lo?” (where are we going?)then he replied “won ti ri oku Balewa”(They have discovered Balewa’s body) When they got to the spot they saw people standing in groups discussing the matter.
Kasumu went inside the bush and took several shots of the late Prime Minister who was propped up against a kolanut tree. He was wearing a white garment and there were NO blood stains on him. The corpse of Okotie-Eboh was lying on the floor. It was swollen and decomposed. After taking several photographs Kasumu said he removed the film, put it in his pocket and loaded another film into his Canon Camera. Just then policemen came and roughly demanded for his Camera which he handed over to them. They removed the film and returned his camera to him. He and Segun quickly went back to Daily Times at Kakawa. Kasumu handed over the film to one Okon who would develop it in the dark room. He said while Okon was developing and drying the film, Alhaj Babatunde Jose, the Managing Director was standing by. As soon as Okon had dried the film Alhaji Jose took the film and went up to his office. By the way Mr Saka Kasumu is very much alive!