Embattled former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and a protocol officer in the MKO Abiola campaign organisation, Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan, today, at the Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, were sentenced to death by hanging for the conspiracy to murder and murder charge preferred against them.
Justice Mojisala Dada of Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere delivered the judgment Monday afternoon.
“Evidence proves Al-Mustapha, Sofolahan killed Kudiratu Abiola”
Judge Mojisola Dada of the Lagos high court ruled that Army Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, chief security aide to Abacha, was guilty of conspiracy and murder of Kudiratu Abiola, wife of late presidential candidate Moshood Abiola.
“Evidence was manifestedly heavy that they killed Kudiratu Abiola. In view of this, they are guilty of conspiracy and murder,” Dada said in her ruling which lasted several hours.
“The prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt. In view of this, they should be hanged.”
The annulment of the 1993 elections helped paved the way for Abacha’s rise to power.
Al-Mustapha was the powerful chief security officer to Abacha, who ruled Nigeria with iron hand from November 1993 to July 1998 when he died.
Abiola was a wealthy businessman and presidential candidate jailed in 1994 after he challenged the military’s decision to annul the vote. He died in jail a month after Abacha’s death in circumstances yet to be clarified.
The judge said Sofolahan “acted as Judas Iscariot. He was friend to the Abiola family in the open and enemy in secret. He sacrificed his master (Abiola) because of his personal greed. He was a viper.”
Al-Mustapha’s defence lawyer Olalekan Ojo said he would appeal the court judgement.