Al-Mustapha's Video Shows Yoruba Leaders in Aso Rock
Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has denied claims by Major Hamza al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Sanni Abacha, that the former was specifically instructed to eliminate him in 1998 . Malam Ribadu was the lead state prosecutor in all the cases of the 1998 trial list facing murder charges before they were handed over to the Lagos State Government and also a passenger in the same Nigerian Air Force Aircraft that conveyed them all, including General Bamaiyi, Col. Bako and others, from Abuja to Lagos.
Al-Mustapha, who has been opening can of worms throughout the week, as part of his defence while facing charges of conspiracy and murder of late Kudirat Abiola, stated this Thursday.
Al-Mustapha said he was only saved from the hands of death when he was in the custody of Ribadu in Lagos by the then Police Commissioner in Lagos State, Mike Okiro.
He said Ribadu was recruited to kill him following the failure of Mrs Stella Omiyi, the then director of Public Prosecution failed to recruit him (Al- Mustapha) as a witness against the Abiola family who had taken the federal government to court claiming damages after the death of MKO Abiola.
Denying the allegation, Ribadu said: "My attention has been drawn to comments made in court today by the Chief Security Officer to the late General Sani Abacha, Mr. Hamza Al Mustapha, claiming that as escort officer ,I was recruited to assassinate him back in 1998."
Describing the allegation as false and a means to build sympathy from the people, Ribadu said he was never a party to any such plot, and will never be associated in a scheme to perpetrate extra-judicial killings.
The videotape of the VHS recording presented by Al-Mustapha on Wednesday further explained his claim that some Yoruba leaders visited Aso Rock in the aftermath of the death of Abiola.
He had mentioned the late Bola Ige and the head of Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba organisation, Chief Abraham Adesanya as part of the delegation to Aso-Rock, who were allegedly compensated with amounts running into several billions of naira.
The VHS, marked 'visit to villa' showed some South West leaders including Late Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Bola Ige and Ayo Opadokun. It also showed Pa Adesanya, granting an interview to the journalists from the Nigerian Television Authority.
He was clearly seen in the recording, which took place on July 8 1998, saying: "the position is that there will be a government of national unity but not to be headed by Abiola but we need a sovereign national conference to prepare the constitution by which we will be ruled. We are not proposing anything yet," in response to the way forward for the the people of the country after the death of Abiola.
Asked the details of the talks they had with the Head of State, Pa Adesanya told them, "no agreement has been reached with the Head of State, other than that he will consider the proposal before him."
He further illustrated with a Yoruba adage: "in Yoruba land, we say when you see two brothers come out and frown face, that means they've said the truth to each other but if they come out laughing, they've not said anything serious."
When asked about Mr Abiola's death, he replied: "I wouldnt know."
He told the journalists that the call for government of national unity was still being considered but, "It is only that it wont be Abiola that will head the GNU."
Continuing, Al-Mustapha claimed the visit was facilitated by the late Ige, and that Pa Adesanya was interviewed after the South West leaders in the video met with Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar.
He also tendered a copy of an 11-paged letter which he said he said he wrote to Bola Ige before his death detailing how the late Justice Minister was unconsciously used to scuttle the June 12 mandate. He denied giving the order for the murder of Kudirat Abiola adding that it was a set up by Abdulsalam Abubakar.
Justice Moji Dada thereafter adjourned further proceedings till next week Monday to Thursday