Al Mustapha, Shofolahan file stay of execution Appeal to seek for overturn of their death sentences

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Convicted Al-Mustapha reflects

Convicted killers Hamza Al-Mustapha and a Lateef Shofolahan are filing a stay of execution appeals to enable the duo live to see their Appeal againt their death sentence soon to be heard in  a Lagos appeal Court.

Twenty four hours after they were convicted & sentenced to death by hanging, former  Sanni Abacha aide Maj. Hamza al-Mustapha and the man that sold out Kudirat Abiola  for assassination, Lateef Shofolahan have filed separate notices of appeal against the death sentence

judgment of the Lagos High Court.

The men were sentenced & convicted on charges of conspiracy to murder & the murder of the late Kudirat Abiola on the 4th of June, 1996.

Their counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, also told o Channel Television judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele that the convicts would be filing a stay of execution today “out of abundance of caution.”

In their notices of appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Lagos at about 2pm on Tuesday, the convicts canvassed five grounds of appeal each.

They sought first for an order of the appellate court allowing the appeal and setting aside the judgment.

As their second relief, the convicts sought for an order acquitting and discharging them on the counts.

Thirdly, Al-Mustapha & Shofolahan argued that the trial judge erred in law by holding that the contradictions in the evidence of Sgt Jabila and Mohammed Abdul popularly known as Katako were immaterial.

They also stated that it was wrong for the judge to have relied on the evidence tendered by Dr. Ore Falomo who had testified during the trial that the bullet extracted from the head of the deceased was a special bullet not commonly seen.

Lateef Shofolahan

They also contended that since Dr Falomo was only a medical practitioner and not a ballistician, his opinion evidence on the type and nature of the bullet was irrelevant and amounted to inadmissible evidence.

The duo accused Justice Dada of bias, saying she rejected the portions of evidence given by Sgt Rogers and Katoko that were favourable to the accused persons.

They stated that The trial judge had no power to pick and choose what portions of the evidence to rely on.”

In their fourth ground of appeal, the judge arrived at a wrong decision occasioning miscarriage of justice by treating the contents of their extra-judicial statements as true and relying on the statements to convict the appellants for the offences.

They both said it was wrongful for the judge to do so since he had earlier held that the statements – Exhibit A6 for al-Mustapha and Exhibit DI5 for Shofolahan – were not confessional.

According to them, their oral evidence was not consistent with the contents of the statements and the police did not investigate the contents of the statements.

They concluded in their fifth grounds that, “The judgment is unreasonable, unwarranted and cannot be supported having regard to the totality of the evidence before the trial court.”

Apart from the five grounds of the appeal canvassed, the counsel for the appellants, Ojo, stated that “further grounds of appeal will be filed upon the receipt of the records of appeal.”