Al-Mustapha, Shofolahan Get Death Penalty
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Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late military despot, General Sani Abacha has been sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the acclaimed winner of 1993 presidential election, MKO Abiola.
Also to die by hanging is a protocol officer in the MKO Abiola campaign organisation, Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan as they were both sentenced to death by hanging for the conspiracy to murder and murder charge preferred against them.
Justice Mojisala Dada of Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere while delivering the judgment on Monday afternoon said that evidence before the court was weighty and showed that the duo conspired and killed Kudirat on June 4, 1996, near the Ikeja end of the former Lagos-Ibadan Toll Gate.
The judge said that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubts that the duo met between March 1995 and June 4, 1996 to plot the murder of Kudirat as evidenced by the first prosecution witness, Barnabas Jabila (a.k.a. Sgt. Rogers), who claimed that Al-Mustapha gave him (Jabila) his personal gun to shoot Kudirat inside her white Mercedez Benz Beast.
'The second defendant willingly handed over Kudirat Abiola to her killer. The court is a fact-finding tribunal which must be seen to be doing its work without any bias and ambiguity.
'The first and second defendants jointly agreed to kill Kudirat Abiola. The defendants are found guilty of conspiracy and murder.
'The evidence is so weighty that the court has no doubts. The defendants are, therefore, found guilty, as charged.
'The light shines in darkness and darkness comprehends it not. Those who shed blood are those who fear death most.
'The defendants are accordingly sentenced to death by hanging until they are proved dead,' Justice Dada said.
The prosecution team led by the Solicitor-General of Lagos State, Mr. Lawal Pedro, expressed satisfaction at the judgment while the defence team, led by Mr. Olalekan Ojo, said it would appeal against the judgment.