I 'VE NO KNOWLEDGE OF PRISON NOTES - YAKASSAI

By NBF News
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KANO-Former Military doctor during the regime of late General Sani Abacha, Colonel Ibrahim Yakassai weekend distanced himself from the 1999 prison notes that indicted top henchmen of the former maximum ruler.

Colonel Yakassai who was the chief medical officer at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock told newsmen that the controversial 'prison notes' was authored by an unknown enemy wishing to settle scores with him and all the personalities mentioned in the script.

Yakassai's denial came against the backdrop of controversy generated by the recent publication of the said prison notes by an online medium based in New York.

He said: 'I have not written any prison notes, and have not granted interview or licensed anybody to write anything about my experience while in detention. In 1999, I was incarcerated in Owerri prison, and that was where the police came to ask me about the purported prison notes which was first published by a Nigerian news magazine.

'I told them I was just seeing it for the first time (then). I did not know anything about it. They spent two weeks questioning me on that and I repeatedly denied any knowledge of it.

'I had never granted interview or commissioned anyone to do so on my behalf and requested them to go and ask the publishers and anybody concerned with it. I had no hand in it whatsoever.'

Recounting his ordeal in Owerri prison, Yakassai who was a former member of General Abacha's kitchen cabinet revealed that he was handcuffed and chained to the ground at the time of the publication, adding that the prison authority as a matter of policy only allowed his wife and a brother to visit him on monthly basis.

Yakassai who is now a consultant gynaecologist with Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, added that the police  had since exonerated him from the authorship of the controversial 'prison notes'' as well as the message contained therein.

He, however, said he would not seek redress over the 'offensive and embarrassing publication,'' even as he maintained that his trial and tribulation were ordained by God.

Yakassai said: 'I was incarcerated for three and half years, and was released in 2003 by General Obasanjo's administration which told me that I had no case to answer.

'My incarceration for whatever reasons was from God. God tested my faith, and when the trial was over I was set free, and I will not make case with anyone on the basis of that publication'.

He, however, declined comments on the on-going trial of the former Chief Security Officer, CSO to Gen. Abacha, Major Hamza Al Mustapha explaining that 'trial and tribulation are destined by God,''  just as, 'one will regain his freedom the moment God says it's over.''