Femi Falana, human rights lawyer and a former legal adviser to MKO Abiola’s family at the former Oputa Commission of inquiry has faulted many claims by Al-Mustapha, currently facing murder charges over the death of Kudirat Abiola, saying many submissions as the former Sanni Abacha aide face a Lagos High have been full of lies, make-ups and contradictions.
In a statement issued in Lagos, the legal luminary said Al Mustapha may have never been in a position to make his current claims due to his lack of physical presence as many events unfolded then.
He cited an instance when he (Al Mustapha) evidence before Oputa panel was disregarded by the panel which saw it as mere hear say.
“But for now Major Al Mustapha should be advised to confront the testimony of Sergeant Jabila (A.k.a Rogers) of the Strike Force who had confessed at the Oputa Panel that he (Al Mustapha) gave him the two guns with which he (Rogers) killed Mrs. Kudirat Abiola on the street of Lagos “.
- Femi Falana’s full statement:
At the Lagos High Court last week Major Bashir Al Mustapha took advantage of his defence in the trial of the cold murder of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola on June 4, 1996 to speak on the circumstance surrounding the illegal killing of Chief M.K.O Abiola on July 7, 1998.
As counsel to the Abiola family at the Oputa Commission of Inquiry we led evidence to establish the remote and immediate cause of the death of Chief MKO Abiola in custody. Specifically, Dr. Ore Falomo, Chief Abiola’s personal physician accused Major Al Mustapha of preventing him from attending to the health of Chief Abiola while he was held in dehumanizing detention conditions for four years.
We also proved, through the Chief Security Officer of General Abdulsalami Abubakar who testified at the Oputa Panel that Chief Abiola gave up the ghost upon taking the tea served by Ms Susan Rice, a member of the United States Delegation that visited him in detention at the Akinola Aguda House. It is pertinent to note that he never linked Pa Abraham Adesanya and Chief Bola Ige with the killing of Chief Abiola or the betrayal of his mandate while both of them were alive on November 27, 2000 when he gave his evidence. As Major Al Mustapha was then in Enugu all he said regarding the killing of Chief Abiola was discountenanced as it was based on hearsay.
However, upon a critical evaluation of the oral and documentary evidence of the witnesses as well as the consideration of our written submissions the Oputa Panel found inter alia:
“41 (iv) In the case of Chief Moshood Abiola, we are of the view that the government of the day knows much more than it has admitted. We believe that the denial of Chief Moshood Abiola’s mandate was a violation of the rights of Nigerians to freely choose their leaders. We regard this as serious infringement…
43. We also believe that Chief Moshood Abiola’s death was the result of his incarceration and the denial of access to adequate medical attention. The testimony of the Chief Security Officer to the then Head of State, Genral Abdulsalami Abubakar, was full of contradictions. From the evidence before us, Chief Abiola died in suspicious circumstances. The Commission therefore recommends a thorough investigation to throw light to and inform the Nigerian people on what killed Chief Moshood Abiola”
Although the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration refused to implement the recommendations of the Oputa Panel I strongly believe that a thorough investigation will be conducted, at the appropriate time, into the dastardly assassination of Dele Giwa, Pa Alfred Rewane, Chief M.K.O Abiola and Bagauda Kaltho and several others. But for now Major Al Mustapha should be advised to confront the testimony of Sergeant Jabila (A.k.a Rogers) of the Strike Force who had confessed at the Oputa Panel that he (Al Mustapha) gave him the two guns with which he (Rogers) killed Mrs. Kudirat Abiola on the street of Lagos .
Meanwhile, disturbed by the continued incarceration of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, youth groups in the North that met under the aegis of Arewa Youth Forum(AYF), at the weekend, appealed to former Head of State, General Abdusalami Abubakar, to clarify the issues raised by Al-Mustapha.
The national president of the AYF, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, said it was only General Abubakar that could put an end to the controversy surrounding Major Al-Mustapha’s allegations and save the nation from further suspense, as the latter’s comments and videos had heated up the polity.
The Arewa youths, he said, had continued to monitor the court proceedings and were not happy with Abubakar for keeping mum in spite of the fact that the embattled former chief security officer had mentioned him many times during the trial.
The founder of Odua People’s Congress (OPC), Federick Fasheun last week called on a Lagos High Court to issue a Court summons against the former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, having been grossly implicated in the on-going murder case against Hamza Al Mustapha, a former aide of former dictator, General Sanni Abacha.
Answering reporters’ questions outside a Lagos High Court, Chief Fasheun said it was necessary for the former leader to appear in Court to clarify certain issues hung against him on events before and after the former winner of June 12 1993 election, MKO Abiola was killed.