Al-Mustapha's Family Decries Death Sentence


Members of the family of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha in Kano, northwest Nigeria, have described the death sentence passed on their son by a Lagos High Court as “a mockery of established judicial process.”

In a statement signed by Hamza’s younger brother, Hadi, on behalf of the family, they insisted that “the strength of evidence relied upon by the learned judge for the conviction was contradictory to subsisting judgment on the same case.”

Hadi noted that “judicial process relied heavily on citation and reports of similar cases in history before arriving at conclusive verdict,” adding that “what we have seen from the Lagos High court is a desperate attempt to eliminate the former CSO.”

According to him, a competent court of jurisdiction had in recent past dismissed the evidence given by the two star witnesses (Rogers and Katako ) by another Lagos judge on the attempted murder of the late Guardian publisher, Alex Ibru as “unreliable” and “inadmissible” in a high profile case .

“All these facts and many more are available to the learned judge and yet she ignored them for reasons best known to her. But the question remains why she has chosen to ignore these important chains of legal process in arriving at a decision on a crucial matter where life is involved,” he said.

The family recalled how the same crown witness in Justice Mojisola Dada’s court disowned his earlier testimony on Al Mustapha, stressing that he was coerced to implicate the former CSO to be rewarded handsomely.

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Hadi further stated that, “Rogers on that fateful day broke down and cried in the open court, begged the entire defendants including Al-Mustapha for forgiveness. Rogers had stated that he and others had agreed to the prosecution’s plan because they were promised huge amount of money.”

He further revealed that Sergeant Barnabas Jabila alias Rogers and Mohammed Abdul alias Katako through the prosecution team rendered worthless all the testimonies they had made on the other cases concerning the defendants, lamenting that some have been freed on that bases.

He added that “two different High courts and the Court of Appeal (three courts) have pronounced that the statements by Rogers and Katako were too inconsistent to be true, and uptil now no competent court in the land has found the testimony of Sergeant Rogers to be credible. So these three courts have ruled that Rogers and Katako statement are ‘worthless and false’.”

The family therefore lamented that despite this pronouncement by the learned judges, they wonder why Justice Mojisola Dada had to rely on the same ‘worthless and false’ statement as the pillar to convict an innocent soul.

The family, however, stated that they still have confidence in the judiciary as they have directed their legal team to commence the procedure of filing an appeal to seek redress at the Appellate court.

—Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano

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