How Juju Legend Ayinde Bakare was Killed

How Juju Legend Ayinde Bakare was Killed

how ayinde bakare died,death of ayinde bakare
Late Ayinde Bakare.
Ayinde Bakare death:He was a legendary musician in the pre-independence era up till the ‘70s. He was extremely popular among the socialite across Yoruba land, especially in Lagos and Ibadan in the 1950s and ‘60s. In October 1972, during one of his performances in Lagos, Bakare suddenly disappeared and he was later found dead. His death became a subject of coroner’s inquest, FRANCIS FAMOROTI, Head, Judiciary writes.

Ayinde Bakare was a pioneering Yoruba juju and highlife musician. He began recording on the His Master’s Voice (HMV), a British label in 1937 and is thought to have been the first juju musician to use an amplified guitar, in 1949.
His amiable nature, his rhythmic music and good melodies made him a towering artiste in his time, not only in Lagos but in the whole of the Yoruba- speaking Western States.
Regrettably, his strange death in October 1972 is still shrouded in mystery. In Lagos alone, Bakare so endeared himself to the social elite that they believed his performance at their ceremonies was the only
antidote to make the occasion grand.
The account told of the circumstances that led to his death 41 years ago was unambiguous and indisputable. It was revealed that during one of his performances on October 1, 1972, he was called to the backstage by some unknown individuals who had pretended to be his fans and admirers.
Specifically, on the day, while the nation was caught in the frenzy of festivities of the independence anniversary, Bakare led his Meranda Band to play at a wedding party on Isale-Gangan Street, Central Lagos.
The band had played for the first session and thereafter went on a short break. Shortly before the band reconvened for the second session, Bakare was invited to the backstage by some unidentified persons and thereafter he disappeared.
As a Daily Times publication, Headlines in its No 230, June, 1992 edition reported ‘’At first, members of the band felt he had probably left with a lover to a hide-out as was the case with most musicians in those days.

ayinde bakare biography and death

They never thought that somewhere in the neighbourhood, death could be lurking and unleashing blows on the juju maestro. ‘’
When the band leader was not forthcoming, the deputy band leader, Mr. Ayanniyi Atanda took over the mantle of leadership and held fort till the end of the party.
At the end of the performance, Bakare never showed up. Despite his sudden disappearance, the members of the band shared the money realised.
The following and subsequent days rolled by, yet Bakare did not return home. Then, it dawn on the family that something serious had happened to him. The matter was reported to the police.
After fruitless efforts to locate his whereabouts, the police declared him missing and this was widely reported in the newspapers. About four days later, on October 4, 1972, Bakare’s body was found floating on the Lagos lagoon shore near Bonny Camp on Victoria Island.
According to the Nigeria Best Forum, an online publication in a report posted on July 25, 2009, the deceased’s eldest son, Sina recounts:
He (Bakare) had an afternoon engagement in Lagos and a night engagement in Ijebu Ode. On account of that, he sent the band to go and wait for him in Ijebu Ode. I was somewhere in Mubi , North Eastern Nigeria playing with my band when I got a telegram from my mum saying my father was missing. His body was discovered four days later on October 4, 1972 at the back of Bonny Camp, Victoria Island.’’

Sadly, the musician was cruelly murdered at the height of his fame. His death caused a deep shock to the police, his family, the Lagos City Council, which registered the death, and thousands of friends and his fans, who had grown fond of him and his music.
The Police, which suspected foul play called for an autopsy and a coroner’s inquest into his death.
Sina suspected death by drowning. Fans, family members and juju music lovers held opinion far different from death through natural cause. The government ordered an inquest into the circumstances that led to Bakare’s death.

The Coroner, Mrs. Grace Akinboboye, then a Magistrate, (later Justice) started her investigation on April 30, 1973 and some witnesses gave evidence during the proceedings.
In his testimony, a consultant pathologist, Dr. Olaseni Akinlade, who performed the autopsy, said there were bruises on his body even though his brain was intact. Risikat, one of his widows, suspected two members of her husband’s band who earlier quarrelled with him over the sum of N60. Another widow of the deceased who testified was Madam Iyabo Bakare.

All the witnesses said they believed he was killed, but could not explain the circumstances and by whom.
Mr. Daniel Akinola, a former deputy leader of the deceased’s inner Circle Orchestra, the deputy leader of Meranda band, Ayaniyi Atanda and a drummer, Michael Gasper, were all examined and cross-examined during the inquest.
For Akinola, the Coroner ordered him to always be present at the inquest until a verdict was given. In his evidence, he explained that he saw Bakare last in May 1972, five months before his mysterious disappearance and only learnt of his death from the pages of newspapers.

Atanda was ordered to be detained in custody for perjury after giving his own testimony. He informed the coroner’s inquest that the leader of the band left during the break session without informing anybody. He also admitted that he directed that the money collected during the performance should be shared among those present at the end of the fateful day’s show.

Gasper, who was accused of wishing the deceased dead, said he could not have wished him dead ‘’ because he was my guardian when I was young and also he was a close friend of my brother.’’
At the end of the inquest, Mrs. Akinboboye said she was convinced from the evidence before her that the musicians, who testified, knew more about Bakare’s death than they revealed.
According to her, ‘’ It is my confirmed opinion that both Atanda and Gasper knew more about the case than they revealed before the coroner and that same goes for Daniel Akinola who testified before me with a smearing contemptuous face, telling nothing but lies.’’
Though she gave a verdict that the deceased died as a result of drowning, she could not link the musician’s death to any of the suspects, due to lack of uncontroverted evidence.
Bakare might have gone to the world beyond, but his good works, which includes his music, outlives him since the past 41 years.
source National Mirror
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