BY BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
LAGOS—Seventeen days after Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan were exonerated from the murder of Kudirat Abiola, a veteran journalist cum human rights activist, Mr. Richard Akinnola, yesterday, said the Court of Appeal’s judgment was a political judicial decision.
It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal, Lagos, on July 12, discharged and acquitted Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to the late Head of State, General Sanni Abacha, and Shofolahan, an aide to late Kudirat, of the conspiracy and murder charge preferred against them by Lagos State.
Speaking at a media presentation of the book: “A Travesty of Justice-The Acquital of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha over the Murder of Kudirat Abiola,” Akinnola pointed out that before the Court of Appeal’s judgment, he predicted the outcome.
He said: “But what shocked me was the intensity of political maneuvering in the judgment, particularly with the involvements of political elite, which shows that it was a political judgment. I was a victim of Mustapha’s atrocity like others. I wonder what is wrong with this country. Any country founded on injustice can never prosper.
“What I expected was that the Court of Appeal will look at the issue of conspiracy, which I think Al-Mustapha should have been charged for and not murder, and punish him taking into cognizance the period they have spent in prison. The Court of Appeal’s judgment was not just a judicial decision, but a political judicial decision.”
“Whoever that thinks that he has escaped justice, he will receive his reward here on earth. Whatever evil anybody does, the person cannot go free, and we shall not keep quiet. Whoever that is involved in this entire shenanigan cannot escape it” he added.
The event which was moderated by Mrs Ganiat Fawehinmi, in Lagos, was attended by veteran journalists, human rights activists and lawyers.