Al-Mustapha’s Diversionary Tactics


As the events of the last few days have shown, Major Hamza al-Mustapha, on trial since 1999 for heinous crimes, remains his old wily self. Continuing his defence for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late businessman and politician M.K.O. Abiola, the former Chief Security Officer to deceased military leader, Gen. Sani Abacha, has been slinging mud in different directions.

Testifying before a Lagos High Court on Monday, the ruthless soldier sensationally accused some Yoruba leaders of receiving bribes to scuttle the mandate of the late Abiola, acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election. Furious at his claims, eminent Nigerians dared him to name names. Two days later before the same court, Al-Mustapha accused Chief Bola Ige and Pa Abraham Adesanya as being among Southwest leaders complicit in why Abiola never gained power before his death.

Specifically, Al-Mustapha alleged that Ige “unconsciously” contributed to Abiola’s death by agreeing to work with the regime of Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar, who he blames for his long incarceration. The former CSO, accused Gen Abubakar of looting the treasury by making spurious withdrawals from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, during the period of his interventionist regime in the wake of the death of Gen. Abacha. The duo of Ige and Adesanya, who died years ago, the former CSO claimed, kept visiting Aso Rock after the death of Abacha.

“When we finished the handing over, we agreed on a 16-point National issues with Gen. Abubakar, one of which was the release of Abiola and another was the need to have a short transition programme. But, instead of releasing Abiola as agreed, the then Head of State brought in the late Chief Ige to the Presidency to act as liaison between Abiola and those who were visiting to confer with him,” al-Mustapha said.

The former CSO, who came to the court armed with a TV set and video recorder, further claimed that he had documentary evidence to show that Gen. Abdulsalami ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to release various sums of money that was subsequently given to the southwest leaders to pacify them. The sums of $200 million, 75 million pounds, and N500 million, he claimed, were withdrawn for the purpose.

The old fox that Al-mustapha has turned out to be, is saturating the air with stale information about money changing hands. Strong as these allegations appear, he has not provided any facts to convince Nigerians that he understands the gravity of his revisionist outpourings.

Nigerians are waiting for the documentary proof of the huge sums of money he claimed were illegally withdrawn from the CBN. If Mustapha’s barren tirades must be taken seriously, we demand for concrete evidence on the beneficiary of the largesse. This is imperative because, the regime in which Al-Mustapha was an integral member is still fresh in our memory for its incessant invasion of the country’s apex bank.

Without holding forte for Gen. Abubakar, Al-Mustapha must stop trying to obviate the truth of the circumstances of his incarceration. If he blames Abubakar for jailing him, does that amount to exonerating himself of the crimes he allegedly committed? Did the Major forget that no matter how short the arm of the law might be, it is certain to catch up with fugitives, infidels and evildoers who unleash terror on their fellow men?

Nigerians are running out of patience with his antics. He took the prime rose. He definitely enjoyed it while it the evil regime he served lasted. It is time to stop throwing brickbats at the deceased and face the sweet music of the law.

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