Saturday, 13 July 2013

# Hamza Al-Mustapha # LWN

Al-Mustapha’s freedom is a Licence to Killer - Yinka Odumakin

 
The former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, was today discharged and acquitted by the Court of Appeal in Lagos for the murder of Kudirat Abiola wife of Late MKO Abiola who was shot dead on June 4, 1996, on what was alleged to be the orders of Al-Mustapha.

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, has described Major Hamza Al-Mustapha’s freedom on Friday as giving licence to killers.

According to PUNCH Report, Odumakin said this on the telephone while reacting to the judgment of the Court of Appeal that discharged and acquitted Al-Mustapha of murder conviction.

He said, “This is a shame on the criminal justice system. There have been several cases of killing without anyone being brought to book. We thought that for the first time, justice would prevail. But the spirit of Kudirat Abiola will not rest until it gets justice.” Continue ....

Odumakin, however, added that the judgment did not come as a surprise to the group as it had been privy to information to that effect. He said the judgment would be appealed.

He said, “The judgment didn’t come to us as a surprise, we already read about it in Saharareporters some weeks ago. But the prosecution will be urged to go to the Supreme Court so that all justice avenues on earth would be seen to have been exhausted before we leave the issue to God.”
He said Nigerians needed to understand the difference between criminal and civil cases. He said in a criminal law, the prosecution is required to prove his case beyond reasonable doubts with reliable evidence.

He said, “The judgment has affirmed that in Nigeria, our constitutional democracy is firmly rooted in the rule of law. I knew from the beginning that the case won’t succeed. The problem with the case was that the prosecution did not do their homework well. The case had prosecutorial lacunas.
A human rights lawyer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, said he had not read the judgment, as a result, could not say whether it was sound or not.

But Aturu stressed that Al-Mustapha’s trial should serve as a lesson to those in power that there will always be a day of reckoning.

He said, “The implication of the decision is that Al-Mustapha is free in the sense that he has been discharged and acquitted.

“Whether the Supreme Court ultimately confirms the decision of the court of appeal or not, what is important is that people who occupy leadership positions in Nigeria should know that there is a day of reckoning.

“They should not continue to act with impunity. The fact that he went through this trial should be a lesson to all.”
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