The Lagos State Government has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against the judgments delivered by the Appeal Court in favour of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan in the murder case of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.
The Appeal Court, a month ago, upturned the judgment of the High Court of Lagos which passed death sentence on Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan.
At news a conference today at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye said the state government formally filed an appeal at the Supreme Court on Monday against the two judgments delivered by the Appeal Court.
“The Lagos State Ministry of Justice has filed appeal papers against the judgments delivered by the Court of Appeal in the cases of Lateef Shofolahan vs The State and Al-Mustapha vs The State,” he said.
Ipaye noted that the government had indeed studied the two judgments delivered by the Appeal Court very closely and concluded that there were grounds for appeal, which made the government to formally file the appeal at the Supreme Court on Monday.
“Having fully reviewed the decisions of the respected Justices of the Court of Appeal, it is our humble view there are strong bases for appeal which the Supreme Court of Nigeria should have an opportunity to consider,” Ipaye stated.
The Attorney General said the step the government was taking would also ensure that all issues were fully articulated and that the victim’s family, the defendants and the society were not deprived of the last window of opportunity provided by the constitution for the resolution of the case.
The commissioner added that government was committed to ensuring that law abiding residents and visitors continued to live, work and pursue their various aspirations in a safe and secure environment.
Al-Mustapha, the former chief security officer to the late head of state, General Sani Abacha, and Lateef Shofolahan, Kudirat’s aide, were accused of masterminding the assassination of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, wife of Chief MKO Abiola, acclaimed winner of the 12 June, 1993 presidential election, and were sentenced to death by a High Court in Lagos.
They were arrested in 1999 and their trial dragged for fourteen years before they were set free in July this year.