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Major Al-Mustapha Regains Freedom

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Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late military dictator, Sanni Abacha, has regained his freedom after 12 years in prison. Al-Mustapha was discharged of the charges leveled against him this afternoon just as several prominent Nigerians had started calling for his release in sympathy with him.

Though details of the court judgment were still sketchy as at the time of filing this report, learnt that his release has resulted in wild jubilation among his friends and family members.

About a month ago, former Head of State , Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of major ethnic organisations led by the founder and president of the Oodua Peoples Congress , OPC, Dr Frederick Fasehun, called for the immediate and unconditional release of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, and his fellow detainees in the spirit of unity and democracy.

They had argued that Mustapha, who was accused of committing criminal offences under the administration of the late Gen. Abacha after spending about 12 years in jail, lowers the esteem of the government in its efforts to promote human rights in Nigeria .

Those who supported Fasehun in the call for Mustapha's release included the leader of the Niger-Delta Volunteer Force , NDVF, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Alhaji Shettima Yerima of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, Comrade Bright Ezeocha, Igbo Youth Congress , IYC, Prince Tony Nwaezeigwe, Igbo People's Congress, IPC and Mr. Abuka Oma-Baba of the United Middle-Belt Youth Forum, UMBYF.

They argued that keeping Al-Mustapha, the former Lagos police boss, Mr. James Danbaba, ex-Zamfara military administrator, Col. Jubrin Bala Yakubu and CSP Rabo Lawal behind bar 12 years after they were first arraigned for some criminal charges,

"contradicts our country's position as a signatory to the United Nations, Commonwealth, African and West African Conventions, Charters and Resolutions on Human Rights, on Torture, on Detention and on imprisonment.

"More embarrassing is the fact that all the witnesses that the state has pushed forward in the court of law have by and large debunked the allegations levelled against these gentlemen."

They had appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to wade into their plight, in the name of all that is good, by appealing to the Lagos state government trying them of the offences and release them forthwith.