Revealed! Northern Monarchs, ACF Plot To Save Al-Mustapha

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Normal.dotm 0 0 1 326 1632 huhuonline 26 12 2284 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false can report that the Northern Traditional Council of Chiefs are locked in critical consultation on how to save one of their revered sons, Major Hamza  Al-Mustapha, who was last Friday sentenced to death by hanging by a Lagos High Court. Normal.dotm 0 0 1 422 2114 huhuonline 34 15 2959 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false

Al-Mustapha, former chief security officer (CSO) to late be-goggled despot, Gen. Sani Abacha, who was adjudged guilty for his role in the death of late Kudirat, wife of celebrated winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, has appealed the sentence.

Dependable sources revealed that the Northern leaders consisting of Emirs, chiefs and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) who were taken aback by the death penalty are planning assiduously to save Al-Mustapha, as there are also plans to contact President Goodluck Jonathan for a state pardon should the appeal fail.

The emergency closed-door meeting which held at Lugard Hall in Kaduna was presided over by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji  Abubakar Sa'ad III and attended by other prominent Emirs and chiefs, including the Emir of Zazzau, Fika, Zamfara, Bauchi,Gwandu, Sarkin Katsina, Lafia, Shehu of Borno, Etsu Nupe and Tortiv.

Although there were no governors in attendance, a close source disclosed that the Northern Traditional Rulers' Council and the Northern Governors' Forum are in agreement over the plans to save Al-Mustapha.

Also, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), met in Kaduna as the national publicity secretary, Mr Anthony Sani confirmed that they would not sleep until they are able to achieve their desire but declined further comment, saying that the forum would soon issue a statement and take a stand on the matter. investigations have further revealed that the various Northern interest groups are relying on 175 (1) (c) and 211 (1) Sections (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, respectively. Section.175 (1)  stated that as, The president may (a) grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offence created by an Act of the National Assembly a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions states as follows:(b) grant to any person a respite, either for an indefinite or for a specified period, of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence;(c) substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence; or (d) remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the State on account of such an offence.

Against this backdrop, Convicted former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Sanni Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, who was on Monday sentenced to death for his involvement in the murder of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, has filed an appeal against the judgment of Justice Mojisola Dada of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The former CSO and his convicted accomplice, Lateef Sofolahan, who is a former aide of the late Kudirat Abiola, both filed separate appeals against the verdicts of the court at about 2pm on Tuesday.

While Al-Mustapha was accused of ordering the killing of the woman, Sofolahan was accused of divulging details of her itinerary on the day she was killed.

Sketchy details of the notice of appeal shows Al-Mustapha, saying that the death sentence hanged on him by the lower court was unwarranted, unreasonable and a manifest of miscarriage of justice.

He and Sofolahan are further asking the Appeal Court in the notice filed on their behalf by their counsel, Barrister Olalekan Ojo, to entertain the appeal, set aside the judgment and discharge them of all the counts against them and on which the lower court passed its judgment.

They argued in the notice that Justice Dada erred in law by arriving at the conclusion that they conspired to kill Alhaja Kudirat on June 4, 1996 as Al-Mustapha's appeal was hinged on four grounds, while that of his co-convict, Sofolahan was premised on five grounds.

Both of them faulted the judge's treatment of what they described as the contradictory statements of Barnabas Jabila (aka Sgt. Rogers) and Mohammed Abdul, the reliance on the testimony of Dr. Ore Falomo, who had said that the bullet extracted from late Kudirat is not easy to get and the rejection of portions of Jabila's testimony which they believe favoured them.

Although no date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeal, Justice Mojisola Dada, had while sentencing them described them with various adjectives and declared that they do not deserve to live, adding that they are to die by hanging "until pronounced dead."