Since 12th of July, 2013, The Nigerian internet have been filled with the name Hamza Al Mustapha after The Court of Appeal in Lagos discharged and acquitted him from the murder of Kudirat Abiola. All Nigerians must be familiar with the name Abiola but mustapha may not ring a bell to many of us especially the younger ones. Here is a brief profile of the man, Hamza Al Mustapha.
Young Al-Mustapha was trained as
an intelligence operative when he joined the army and participated in the investigation of not less than 2 coup plots. Where he showed his effective but unconventional interrogation techniques that was said to have to have impressed the chief of Army, General Sabi Abacha who made his Aide-de-Camp. General Sani Abacha made Al mustapha his Chief security officer (C.S.O) when he became the head of state from 1993 to 1998.
As Abacha's C.S.O, Al Mustapha showed intelligence, dedication, ingenuity and tenacity that earned him the trust of the Head of state and he became his right hand man. He grew so powerful, even more powerful than his superiors in the army. It was said that Al mustapha controlled about 17 security apparatuses which he employed for the security of the maxim ruler and destroying his enemy. Notable amongst these apparatuses are the shadowy killer Group (KG) and the strike force which were said to be responsible for the spate of political killings that was perpetrated during the Abacha Regime.
After the death of his principal General Abacha, Al Mustapha was transferred to enugu and was subsequently arrested and detained at the kirikiri maximum prison for some of these political killings including the murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of Dr. M.K.O Abiola and other crime allegations from 1998. That makes it almost 15 years of incarceration. Even in prison, Al Mustapha still wielded some power and was said to have allegedly participated in a coup plot from his prison cell in 2004.
During his trials, Al mustapha was reported to have conducted himself poorly in the courtroom. Being in contempt of the court and even accused the trial judge of taking bribe. But on January 30, 2012, Justice Mojisola Dada found him guilty of the murder of Kudirat Abiola and sentenced Al Mustapha to death by hanging.
This judgement was challenged at the federal court of appeal and On 12th of July, 2013, The Court of Appeal in Lagos discharged and acquitted Hamza Al-Mustapha from the murder of Kudirat Abiola overturning the sentence of the Lagos High Court which sentenced him to death by hanging. The lower court was accused of being “stroked to secure a conviction by all means" by the presiding judge of the Appeal Court.