By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJAâ€” An elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has advised the Federal Government to release former Chief Security Officer to late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza El-Mustapha immediately if there were no sufficient evidence against him.
He said detaining an accused person without conclusive trial for over 11 years is not only condemnable but inhuman.
Al-Mustapha was arrested more than a decade ago for being the alleged mastermind of several state killings in the country during the dark days of late Gen Sani Abacha.
He is being prosecuted by Lagos State government alongside other alleged accomplices.
Mustaphaâ€™s trial had dragged for over a decade following the delay tactics he was employing to frustrate or quash his trial. In fact, judges had to hands off his case following series of criminal allegations levelled at them.
Vanguard recalls that he almost truncated the judicial career of former Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Augustine Adetula Alabi when he alleged that he demanded for $10million bribe to set him free.
The National Judicial Council did not take the matter lightly until his allegation was investigated and was discovered to be a lie.
Alabi who was just an Administrative Judge of the Lagos high court later became the head of Lagos judiciary.
He had also accused the prosecuting team of making efforts to jail him at all costs.
But Clark said it did not matter whatever ploy he used.
He said he should be set free if there was no evidence to nail him
Hear him: â€œIt was true that Abachaâ€™s government was dictatorial with its killer squad allegedly led by Mustapha.
” A former Minister of Internal Affairs, Chief Alex Ibru was shot; Ogoni activist, Mr. Ken Saro-Wiwa was killed and Alhaja Kudirat Abiola was assassinated; that was a bloody period.
â€œIf there is no sufficient evidence against him, they should speed up Mustaphaâ€™s trial and allow him to go home. His continuous detention is condemnable, this is injustice and you donâ€™t curb injustice with injustice. President Jonathan and the government of Lagos State in whose court he is being tried should set up machinery to grant him freedom.
â€œThis is a very bad case; I am pleading to the President and Lagos State Governor to release them like they did for IshayaÂ Bamaiyi, even though they have destroyed him (Bamaiyi). Abacha died in 1998 and since Nigeria is 50 years old nothing should be done to show that we are oppressive.