16th August, 2011
In continuation of his defence, the former CSO to the late Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha brought in his former orderly, Kyari Gadzama to the court today.
Gadzama, while being led in evidence by the defence counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, told the court that he joined the Nigerian Army in 1993 and after being trained at the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, he was appointed as orderly to the former CSO in 1994.
He said he was a member of the Strike Force. After stating his duties as the orderly and the mode of duty and operation of the security personnel at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Gadzama said he became the orderly to Abachaâ€™s child when Al-Mustapha was transferred to 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu. The new CSO asked him to remain in the Villa but not in the CSOâ€™s office.
However, by late 1998, he said he was arrested by the State Security Service, SSS. He was later released and in 2000, he was rearrested by the SSS and driven to State Police Headquarters, Abuja, where he was locked up in the cell.
He said he was detained for 17 days. After three days in the cell, he was handcuffed. Consequent upon this, he was asked to cooperate and do what he was asked to do.
Gadzama said the following day, he was brought before a panel where he met Barnabas Jabila a.k.a. Sergeant Rogers, who told him, to cooperate with the people sitting in the room or else he will be in trouble.
He said he was given a statement written by Sergeant Rogers to read. He stated that he was given a paper to write his own statement to confirm what Rogers had written and which he refused to do. He claimed that his refusal resulted in his being pushed off the chair he was sitting.
The following day, when he woke up inside the cell, he discovered that he was wet all over his body which made him to suspect that he must have fainted the previous day.
Al-Mustaphaâ€™s former aide said after the death of Abacha, he was arrested three times. The last time he was with the SSS, he was informed that he was discharged and acquitted. The following day, he was given a letter to proceed on a course. When he came back, he reported to his unit and he was not paid his salaries for four months. But he was later paid his six months salaries in arrears. Thereafter, he was ordered to report at three different units in one day. He was confused but reported at the Intelligence Unit. He got a query which stated that he failed to report for duty. He said they declared him AWOL (away without official leave).
He went further to state that every officer is entitled to allowances.
At this juncture, he sensed that some people must be after him. He was later posted to Jos, Plateau State and from March to June, his name disappeared from the voucher. Thereafter, he decided to leave the army.
When asked if he knew Mohammed Abdul alias Katako, he replied that he does not know him, but he said he knew Rogers as a member of the Strike Force, whom he met when he was in detention.
He recollected that Rogers was telling him to cooperate as Rogers said he has been given a house and will soon be posted out to one of Nigeriaâ€™s missions abroad.
He said Rogers told him if he cooperates, he would travel abroad with him, if not he would be left behind.
When Barrister Ojo asked him if he knows Shofolahan, the second accused person in the murder trial, he replied: â€œno, I donâ€™t know him.â€
As at the time of filing this report, the witnessâ€™ evidence continued.
The case continues tomorrow.