Bar Beach Show: The first public execution in Nigeria

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One of the first men to be killed at Lagos Bar Beach, identity unknown

This is the first time that armed robbers would be publicly killed in the country.

The Bar Beach was a fun spot for people and families to have fun back in the day.

It was also a spot for the religious, white garment prophets praying for people seeking for one thing or the other.

The famous Beach (now Eko Atlantic) served another purpose- the public execution of criminals. After the civil war, the military government wanted to deal with the rise of armed robbery in the country.


The government came up with an answer- public executions at the Bar Beach. It was a PR answer to discourage people from turning into a life of crime.

One of the first people to be executed was Mr Babatunde Folorunsho, a fashionable high way robber. Folorunsho had been a pain in the neck of the police for years. His time came to an end in 1971 after he was arrested.

He was charged to court for robbing a man called  Mr Alfred Marshall and taking his car. Along with others, Folorunsho was sentenced to death in April 1971.

On a bright sunny day in July 1971, Folorunsho stepped out of the truck wearing an expensive lace material (the choice for rich people back then) to be killed.

He wasn't the only one to step on the sand that day. There were two others-  Joseph Ilobo and  Williams Alders Oyazimo, a sub-lieutenant in the Nigerian Navy.


When Ilobo came out from the truck and saw the huge crowd who came to see him die he reportedly said "Are all these people here to see me die? Ah! This is a wicked world….I have not committed any crime."

The story of how  Williams Alders Oyazimo ended up in front of the firing squad is still unclear till today. Some said his death was a set-up and he was framed. What Oyazimo said moments before he died that day adds more gasoline to the fiery conspiracy theory.

ALSO READ: The rise and fall of Ishola Oyenusi

"Father, I am innocent. My blood will cleanse my family and my children will prosper" he cried out on the fateful day.

Folorunsho was handcuffed both on his hands and legs. He was silent and did not say a word at the Lagos Bar Beach show.

After they were tied up, the soldiers blasted bullets into their bodies and on that day with thousands of people at the beach dark history was made.


Public executions would continue till the early 90s. Famous armed robbers like Lawrence Anini and Dr. Oyenusi.

from - Gist

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