Posted by News Express | 25 July 2013 | 7,410 times
A former Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, this morning launched a robust defence of Major, Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to late military ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, who was acquitted and discharged July 12 by the Appeal Court in Lagos over the June 4, 1996 murder of heroine of democracy, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.
Fani-Kayode had been taken to task by some respondents after he published a photograph of himself with Al-Mustapha and LEADERSHIP Publisher Sam Nda Isaiah on his Facebook page around 2am with the following comment: “A great honour to have my brother Major Hamza Al Mustapha, Sam Nda Isaiah and others in my home last night. A truly amazing man with an amazing testimony.”
In his responses, Fani-Kayode forcefully argued that Al-Mustapha was made a scapegoat just because he has information on those responsible for unresolved high profile murders such as those of MKO Abiola, Sani Abacha, Bola Ige, Aminasoari Dikibo, Harry Marshal, Funso Williams and Alfred Rewane. He said that the real culprits have been free and even running Nigeria’s affairs and declared that the country would shake if Al-Mustapha decided to talk. Below is Fani-Kayde’s argument as pieced together by News Express:
“My view is that it is the same people that killed MKO Abiola, Abacha, Bola Ige, Dikibo, Harry Marshal, Funso Williams, Alfred Rewane and so many others that killed Kudirat. The conspiracy of the system is much deeper and more complex than the average Nigerian can possibly fathom. When the truth comes out people will be shocked. All I can say is that I am firmly of the view that Mustapha was just a scapegoat and that those that actually ordered the killing of Kudirat wanted to hang it on him just to silence him and keep him out of circulation. When this man tells the nation what he knows and what he went through at the hands of those who succeeded Abacha this country will be shaken to its very foundation.
“15 years is a long time to lock someone up behind bars without ANY evidence against him . . . Guilt by association has no place in any civilised society. If it did every single government official that has held public office since 1960 would be in jail today. We must not lock people up simply out of sentiment or suspicion. There MUST be evidence of wrongdoing. I fought Abacha and Al Mustapha when most people commenting here could barely read or write and when some of them were still wearing diapers. I did so far more than most did and I had to leave my country for 5 long years and live in exile because of it. Yet I will not go down the road of vengeance or of persecuting and punishing my old adversaries without any firm and hard evidence. I assure you that those that ordered those killings have never spent one day in jail and going by the way Nigerians behave they probably never will because our people are not asking the right questions or demanding to hear the right answers. The killers of Kudi and others have been running the country and the system for many years and I assure you that the greatest threat to them today is probably Al Mustapha because he knows so much. That is why I am glad that he is out of prison. I pray that Kudirat’s real killers are eventually exposed and convicted just as I pray that the killers of ALL the other people that were assassinated at that time in our history, before then and after then are also exposed and prosecuted.
“It is much deeper and bigger than you can possibly imagine. I will go no further than that for now . . . the Court of Appeal judgement. It was scathing about the behaviour of the Lagos State High Court which convicted him based on nothing. If this matter had been in a serious country the case would have been thrown out after 6 months. It was that bad. I know because I have been following it closely for over 6 years. Nowhere has anyone been EVER been convicted on recanted evidence ANYWHERE in the world. Even Susan Rice, the American National Security Advisor, commended the Court of Appeal judgement and said that it shows that Nigeria is beginning to get things right as far as the courts were concerned. The outcome of the matter at the Court of Appeal had absolutely NOTHING to do with Abuja and everything to do with the proper application of the law and the right decisions of the courageous judges in the Court of Appeal, one of whom who wept openly after reading the judgement simply because of the grave injustice that had obviously been meted out to this innocent man by the Lagos State High Court which was presided over by one Justice Dada. It may also interest you to know that the Justice Dada based her judgement and conviction of Mutapha (after a trial that went on for 14 years) on two foreign cases that actually said the opposite of what she claimed in her judgement!!! Go and check. The judge evidently never believed that anyone would even bother to read the cases that she cited. This sort of thing can only happen in Nigeria. It is evil and no sane or decent-minded person should stand for it.
“There were only two witnesses that gave direct evidence against Al Mustapha. They both not only later recanted but they also gave details about how they were induced and what they were given to give the false evidence. They also told the court about the threats that were made against them if they refused to testify against an innocent man and rope him in. Secondly the so-called 4 witnesses that you mentioned never showed up in court simply because they did not exist. If you cannot produce all your witnesses in 14 years then that can hardly be regarded as the defence’s fault. It just means that you just don’t have a case and that you are wasting the courts time. Please understand that the State lied through their teeth in this matter from beginning to end and the whole thing was just based on sentiment and political considerations. I urge you to read the judgement of the Court of Appeal.”
•Photo (R-L) shows Fani-Kayode, Al-Mustapha, and Nda Isaiah.
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