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Published On: Sun, Jul 14th, 2013

Group Slams Judgment on Mustapha Acquital, Urges Lagos to Appeal Judgement


LAGOS JULY 14TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, KIND, has expressed shock at the discharge and acquittal of Hamza Al-Mustapha and Lateef Sofolahan for the murder of late Kudirat Abiola.
Mr. Al-Mustapha was the chief security officer to the then Head of State, Sani Abacha, while Mr. Sofolahan was an aide to Mrs. Abiola.
The two men were sentenced to death by hanging by a Lagos Court on January 30 for the murder; but were freed and the sentence upturned by the Court of Appeal on Friday.

KIND, named after Mrs. Abiola, wife of Moshood Abiola, winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election, said it “will obtain this Judgment and commission a team of legal experts to study it in detail, with a view to determining whether a civil action is advisable at this point.”
The non-governmental organisation, in a statement by its Executive Director, Amy Oyekunle, said it “respectfully acknowledges but vehemently disagrees with the Judgment of the Court of Appeal.”
“With this reversal, the Nigerian Judiciary has now exonerated ALL persons that were brought to trial for the gruesome acts of murders and attempted murders that took place during the Abacha regime (before now, the persons tried for the attempted assassinations of Alex Ibru and Pa Abraham Adesanya had been set free, Muhammed Abacha, General Ishaya Bamaiyi, and the Police Officers, Alhaji Danbaba, and Rabo Lawal). Also, the men who were herded into Court for the assassination of Pa Alfred Rewane were released, for want of evidence,” the organisation said questioning the efficiency of the Nigerian judiciary.
“KIND notes that the Nigerian Judiciary was also unable to resolve the issue of who murdered, in December 2002, Chief Bola Ige, a sitting Attorney General of the Federation, and, indeed the husband of a then serving Justice of the Court of Appeal, Late Justice Atinuke Omobonike Ige.
“Is it that the Nigerian Judiciary is incapable of resolving cases of political murders and assassinations, or that the Nigerian State lacks the competence, capability or will to prosecute cases of political murders?” it asked.
The organisation said it is of the view that justice has not been served by the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
“KIND therefore calls on the Attorney-General of Lagos State to exercise his power over all public prosecution in Lagos State to appeal this verdict in the interest of the dead and the living.
“In making this call, KIND is not set on seeking vengeance or retribution. As an organization founded in honour of Kudirat Abiola, it, along with all well meaning Nigerians, seeks a final judicial resolution of the question, “who killed Kudirat Abiola?” it said.
Source: Premium Times

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