Al-Mustapha Must Die By Hanging – Lagos Tells Supreme Court
The Lagos State government has urged the Supreme Court to set aside the July 12, 2013 judgment of the Court of Appeal which discharged and acquitted Hamza Al-Mustapha of the murder of Kudirat Abiola.
Kudirat was a wife of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late MKO Abiola.
In place of the Appeal Court judgement, the state government wants the apex court to uphold the death sentence awarded against the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
The ruling was announced by Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State High Court on January 30, 2012.
Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan were arraigned before the Lagos High Court on a two-count criminal charge of conspiracy to commit murder and the murder of Kudirat on June 4, 1996 in Lagos State.
In the High Court judgment delivered by Justice Dada, the accused persons were found culpable as charged and sentenced to death by hanging.
The judgment was later set aside in April 2012 by the Court of Appeal, for the review of the trial and the conviction. The three Appellate Court justices, in a unanimous judgment, not only voided the decision of the High Court, they went further to discharge and acquit the accused on the ground that the evidence against them was insufficient.
But the Lagos State government, in a bid to reopen the case, filed a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court, asking for the permission of the court to allow it to challenge the findings of the Appeal Court Justices Amina Adamu Augie, Rita Nosakhare Pemu and Fatimo Omoro Akinbami.
It was gathered that the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, signed the notice of appeal, seeking the “setting aside the judgment of the appealate court."
Kazeem argued that the testimonies of its star witnesses, Barnabas Jabila, also known as Sergeant Rogers, and Mohammed Abdul, who had confessed to their roles in the murder, were detailed and consistent.
The apex court is yet to fix a date for the final ruling on the matter.