al-Mustapha Says Ige, Adesanya 'Unconsciously Complicit' In Abiola's Death

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LAGOS, August 03, (THEWILL) - The late General Sani Abacha’s Chief Security Officer, Major Hamza al-Mustapha Wednesday named the slain former Minister of Justice, Chief Ajibola Ige and Late Pa Abraham Adesanya among those who were 'unconsciously complicit' in the murder of Bashorun MKO Abiola. Both men were leaders of the Pan-Yoruba group Afenifere and chieftains of the pro-democracy group, National Democratic Coalition, NADECO.

al-Mustapha, who is currently standing trial for allegedly ordering the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, explained during resumed cross-examination at a Lagos High Court, the roles the late Yoruba leaders allegedly played in the ‘murder’ of Bashorun Moshood Kolawole Olawale Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, Presidential Election.

On Monday, the accused person had alleged that the Federal Government withdrew various sums -- $200 million, £74million and N500, 000 from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pacify some Yoruba leaders after the death of Abiola on July 7, 1998.

During the cross-examination, Mustapha claimed he reached an agreement with the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and gave a condition that “Abiola must be released and that after a short while, he should be given his mandate back.”

The former CSO also further explained that the Abdulsalami-led military government relieved him of his responsibility as the liaison officer to Abiola and replaced him with Bola Ige.

“I was the one in charge of Abiola’s protection and his liaison officer to the government. But the FG relieved me of the duty and appointed Bola Ige in place.

“Chief Bola Ige approved all the Very Important Personalities (VIPs) that visited Abiola. One of the VIP was the leader of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group-Afenifere; Abraham Adesanya,” al-Mustapha stated.

He added that after the sudden death of Abiola, he wrote an 11 page eleven letter to Ige, which he titled: “How you were unconsciously used in the murder of Abiola.”

He then presented a VHS video recording as evidence to the court as proof that indeed Bola Ige and other Yoruba leaders were frequent visitors to Aso Rock, the seat of government. The evidence was dully admitted by the presiding judge, Mojisola Dada, despite pleas from the prosecuting counsel. The video tape is scheduled for viewing in court tomorrow (Thursday).

The ex-CSO presented a second evidence of memos signed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar and his National Security Adviser (NSA), Abdullahi Mohammed which ordered the release of the funds from the CBN.

According to him, soft copies of the document were saved in the memory of a photocopier machine by his boys in the intelligence community, whom he had employed into the villa.

He said the federal government excuse for the withdrawal of the funds was to “carry out some roles on national security and pay some soldiers who were on peace keeping mission”, but instead the funds were used to pacify Yoruba leaders.

The memo was also admitted as evidence though the prosecuting counsel objected claiming “it is secondary evidence that was not verified by anybody.”

Justice Mojisola Dada said, “The evidence can be admitted on the ground of relevance” and then adjourned the case till Thursday (tomorrow), when she ruled that the video evidence will be played.