Lagos – Founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Frederick Fasheun, on Friday hailed the Appeal Court’s judgment acquitting Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (rtd), urging him to forgive his long detention.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on July 12, discharged and acquitted Major Hamza Al-Mustapha of the murder of Kudirat Abiola.
Kudirat, was the wife of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola.
Al-Mustapha, a former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, Gen. Sanni Abacha, was sentenced to death on Jan. 30 for conspiracy and murder of Kudirat Abiola.
The late Kudirat was shot in Lagos on June 4, 1996.
The Appeal Court judgment overruled the Lagos High Court’s judgment which sentenced him to death by hanging.
In a statement in Lagos, Fasheun stated, “I am vindicated; I knew Al-Mustapha neither ordered, nor had a hand in the killing of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola; and that was why I stood by him.”
Fasheun expressed joy at the unanimous decision read by Justice Rita Pemu.
“I commend the judgment by the Court of Appeal. I salute the courage which it displayed in the face of daunting politics and powerful interests who wanted Al-Mustapha hanged by all means.
“People used to tell me they could not understand why I would be going to court in support of an officer who served in a regime that detained me for almost three years.
“But, I told them that I had lived my entire life based on the principle of justice. And I would still protest injustice being done to even my worst enemy,” he stated.
According to him, the judgment has given way for healing to begin throughout the country as it closes the chapter on an ugly era in the history of Nigeria.
“Mustapha and his family must find it in their hearts to forgive collectively,” Fasheun stated.
Fasheun, however, recommended that based on the appeal judgment, the National Judicial Council (NJC) should review the judgment last year and impose sanction if necessary.
“It beats the imagination that all the prosecution witnesses confessed in open court that they had been forced to lie against Al-Mustapha, and yet he was sentenced to death,” he added. (NAN)