By JIDE AJIA
The Executive Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Comrade Debo Adeniran, has described the release of Al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan as ‘a case of procedural and tactical failure.’
Adeniran who was reacting to the pronouncement of discharge and acquittal of the duo of Al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan on the charge of the murder of Kudirat Abiola by the Court of Appeal, on Friday, 12th July, 2013, stated that the case, which was subjected to various proceedings was concluded to ‘death by hanging’ as ruled by Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court.
According to him, “The protracted court proceedings that actually began in 1999 and which had so far entertained series of adjournments, motions after motions and of course, mind-boggling confessions and recantations from star witnesses, began heading for the long-awaited conclusion when, on the 30th of January, 2012, Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court returned a verdict of guilt on the accused, and accordingly sentenced them to die by hanging.
“The reversal of that decision by the Court of Appeal, in favour of the accused, on Friday, 12th July, 2013 has no doubt been enjoying all the media hype and public comments it deserves.
“This development, of course is quite comprehensible given the personalities involved and there is no pretending on the far-reaching implication of the judgment on the polity. Therefore, given the high profile nature of the case, there is the need to look deeply into the case in its entirety and try to analyze dispassionately.”
However, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), had earlier called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to probe the prosecutors who handled Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha’s case.
The call is contained in a statement issued recently in Abuja and jointly signed by the National Coordinator of the association, Mr Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf.
Al-Mustapha, a former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, was sentenced to death on the 30th January last year over the murder of Kudirat Abiola on June 4, 1996 in Lagos.