ByÂ Abdulwahab Abdulah
LAGOS – Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former CSO to the late Gen Sani Abacha, yesterday, objected to the production and admissibility of the Special Investigative Panelâ€™s (SIP) report on the serial killings under the regime of the late Head of State put up by the Federal Government in 1999.
Al-Mustapha who opposed to the tendering of the saidÂ report before Justice Mufutau Olokooba of an Ikeja High Court hinged his argument on the fact that the SIP forced them to write their voluntary statement which is now being used against them in court.
Al-Mustapha is standing trial alongside former Lagos State Police boss, Mr. James Danbaba; ex-Zamfara Military Administrator, Col. Jubrin Bala Yakubu (rtd) and CSP Rabo Lawal for the offence of conspiracy and attempted murder of Mr. Alex Ibru and former Delta State Director of Sport, Mr. Isaac Porbeni.
At the continuation of his trial before Justice Olokooba, Al-Mustaphaâ€™s counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, argued that the report sought to be tendered by the state prosecution could not stand the test of time since, according to him, it was an illegal report which emanated from a body not legally empowered to carry out investigation into the alleged offences under the relevant section of the Criminal Code Act.
However, the Solicitor General of Lagos State, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), who led the prosecution who had earlier sought to tender the SIP report during the examination-in-chief of CP Felix Ogbaodu, in charge of Force Administration, Abuja, who was a member of the SIP panel in 1999 said the report was crucial to the conduct of his case.
He said since the maker of the statement was present in court, he would not see any reason why the defence counsel would be objecting to its production as an exhibit.