The most bitter memory of the death of Kudirat Abiola, the slain wife of the winner of 1993 Presidential election , MKO Abiola came alive on Monday afternoon, when Haadee, the young boy left behind by Kudirat learnt of Al Mustapha’s commital to death by a law court.
Hadee Abiola, now 23 was only seven when his mum’s was cut down by assassin’s bullets in 1996.
Responding to the death sentence, Hadee said he was pleased that justice had taken its cause. He had expressed he was still very angry remembering how his mum was snatched away from him when he was only seven years old, while speaking to Hafsat two weeks ago during a telephone onversation.
Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, daughter of the deceased Alhaja. Kudirat Abiola, responding to the sentence during an interview on Channelstv news spoke of how Hadee expressed that he was still angry about her mum’s death when they spoke about two weeks ago. She said he would be receiving the news now with happiness that justice has been done.
Casting his mind back to reflect what happened to his mother in 1996, Hadee has lived with the nightmare of growing up without his mother. Hafsat had telephoned Hadee to inform him of the court’s outcome in far away America where he lives.
Kudi was a political activist who championed calls for Abiola’s release when he was imprisoned by Mustapha’s mentor, former dictator Sanni Abacha.
A death sentence was handed down to Major Hamza Al-Mustapha who was accused of ordering Kudirat’s death.
Relaying the family’s reaction to Al Mustapha’s sentence, Hafsat spoke about his young brother’s reaction as that of real anger against those who masterminded their mum’s death.
Mrs Abiola Costello described Mustapha’s death sentence as a judgement for Nigerians and said it was long overdue.
Al-Mustapha, as well as Lateef Sofolahan were sentenced to death by hanging having been convicted of the murder of Mrs. Abiola, wife of Chief Moshood Abiola, widely believed to have won the 12 June 1993 Presidential elections.
She was assassinated along the Lagos/Ibadan express way on 4 June 1996.
Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, as well Lateef Sofolahan, the protocol officer for the deceased who was accused of divulging details of Mrs. Abiola’s whereabouts on the day of her murder, have both been embroiled in a 12-year-long trial.
It came to an on Monday today when Justice Mojisola Dada in a Lagos High Court today sentenced both men to death. Hafsat Abiola says the judgement has further confirmed the judiciary in the country as the last hope of the Nigerian masses.
Speaking to Channels Television in Abeokuta, she said there had been “no doubt” of Al-Mustapha’s involvment in her mother’s killing, adding that it brings some closure to the family still greiving the loss.
Mrs. Costello says that life without the late Kudirat Abiola has been difficult, but adds that the family finds solace in the fact that she died in the struggle for the emancipation of the people.
In the interview, Hafsat Abiola admits that the trial had taken far too long and the 12-year-long case is said to be the longest in the nation’s history.