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Kudirat’s murder: I WAS FRAMED UP —Al-Mustapha •Weeps over ordeal •How he was given heroic welcome in Kano

By News Express on 15/07/2013

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Forty-eight hours after his release from 15 years’ detention, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Nigerian military ruler, General Sani Abacha, yesterday alleged that he was framed up over the murder of Alhaji Kudirat Abiola. Brave Kudi was gunned down June 4, 1996 on a Lagos street while fighting for the revalidation of the mandate of her husband, Chief MKO Abiola, who later died in government custody while seeking to exercise the mandate Nigerians gave him during the epochal June 12, 1992 annulled presidential ballot.

Al-Mustapha, who was freed by a Lagos Appeal Court on Friday, told his Kano kinsmen that he suffered “a series of allegations, arranged and well scripted by some people, just to continue to keep us on charges that had no basis.”

He made the allegations amidst tears at the Kano Government House while being received by Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso. The ex-convict who wielded enormous powers under Abacha had been flown to his native Kano in North-West Nigeria in a chartered plane Dornier 328. He was accompanied by friends and relatives, among them Dr. Fredrick Fasheun, founder/leader of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), whom Al-Mustapha has adopted as father. Fasheun, who relentlessly fought for Al-Mustapha’s freedom, had gladly hosted him in his base in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, after his release from Kirikiri Prison on Friday.

The party landed to a heroic welcome at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) at about 12:05. Security personnel that included the military, police, State Security Service (SSS), Civil Defence and Hisbah had a hectic time controlling thousands of people who turned up to welcome back their favourite son. From the airport Al-Mustapha and his team, which included Mohammed Abacha, the second son of his late principal, were driven straight to the Government House, where he was warmly received by Governor Kwankwaso.

Speaking on his ordeal, Al-Mustapha told Kwankwaso: “I must say that even though I lost my father and my mother whom I was forced to see only two times in 15 years – I am their first child, I must say I am their confidant and best friend in my family; and yet, even when the Court forced the then authorities to allow me set eyes on them, the approvals of the Court were flagrantly refused. And I was kept and punished the more, just a ploy to ensure that I don’t set eyes on my parents.

“I saw my father in 2001, and later I saw him in 2007 May; my mother I was allowed to see her in 2001 August, and then I was allowed also to see her after a long battle, despite all instructions from Federal High Court, Lagos, I saw her in 2006 and she died last year, in the month of Ramadan

“Things I went through are things that I cannot sum up anywhere, but all I can say is that yesterday is gone, those who have perpetrated what they did against us have done it in their own deductions, analysis, feelings but to us yesterday is gone. We have drawn a line and we have forgiven them. We are forging ahead to set examples.

“Now, Your Excellency, Mohammed Abacha was charged along with me in 1999, and he got his own freedom in the year 2002. I continued, having suffered a series of allegations, arranged and well scripted by some people, just to continue to keep us on charges that had no basis. We thank God Almighty that we have met justice at the end of the day. But during the travails, members of our families who have suffered degradation, humiliation, who also suffered lots of deliberate plans of mischief, including attempted kidnaps of my children when they were very small; and a lot attempts to take them away, a lot of campaigns of calumny on pages of newspapers and magazines and the rest; but today, we thank God almighty. I can just sum it up to say 15 years after, I can say, with all respect and all praises unto God almighty that it is the liberty and honour restored. Thanks be to God almighty.

“Now, Your Excellency, I have found a father – highly dogmatic, a senior citizen of this country, a detribalized elder, an intellectual, a person that is a father indeed with a wide shoulder and a big heart, a man that is very reliable, responsible, dependable, Dr. Fredrick Fasheun.

“He stood by me, having taken time to come to the court to realise what were going on in the court of law and on the other hand, what were being scripted and sponsored on the pages of Newspapers, magazines, television and the radio were different, he now decided to stay on the part of justice and insist that justice must be served. In rainy season, dry season, cold season, he was always in court.

“I know of the humiliation he served. Your Excellency I must say that I have a father in the South-West and part of this country, that is my own and that is a personality I look on to for vision and guidance and I respect him as a father that can look through issues in this country beyond tribal sentiment, beyond religious issues, he is an asset to the country, and that is why I have anchored upon him as a father with whom we can look into the future together with.”

Responding, Kwankwaso thanked God for Al-Mustapha’s discharge and acquittal.  “What happened to him is a big lesson not only to the family but to everyone of us, but I give thanks to the judiciary for this bold verdict,” the governor said. “The few times I visited him in prison, I saw the commitment and his faith in Allah, and it was obvious that he would one day regain his freedom and today, that has been actualised; and the government, friends and associates of this great son will pull resources together to ensure his rehabilitation anywhere he chooses to live.”

Giving the vote of thanks, Fasheun said: “Hamza Al-Mustpha was taken away in 1999 in tattered clothes and in chains under a pitiable situation; but today he has returned a hero, we have always insisted that he was unjustly held. We felt concerned and decided to be part of justice.

“I am happy that after a heavy rain, the sky is good. This is the only country we can call our own. We must eschew mutual hostility, mutual suspicion and build not only a good nation, but a great nation.”

Just as happened at the airport and at the Government House, Al-Mustapha were also enthusiastically received at place of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who thanked God for the release and return of one of his most famous subjects. The next stop was Kofar Manzugal, where Al-Mustapha prayed at the tombs of his late parents before being driven to his residence.

The Lagos State Government which prosecuted the once-dreaded major says it is studying the Appeal Court judgement with a view to going to the Supreme Court, where it hopes to the death sentence on Al-Mustapha restored. Until that happens, Al-Mustapha will continue to enjoy the sweet air of freedom and his present celebrity status.   

•Photo courtesy PM News shows Al-Mustapha acknowledging cheers while coming out of the aircraft. In front of him is Fasheun.

Source News Express

Posted 15/07/2013 10:45:13 AM

 

 

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