Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Lawyers blame Al-Mustapha over delayed trial
Two human rights lawyers - Fred Agbaje and Bamidele Aturu - on Tuesday absolved the courts of any blame in the more than 13 years incarceration of Hamza Al-Mustapha, an Army Major.
Mr Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, and two others - Rabo Lawal and Lateef Shofolahan - are being tried for alleged conspiracy and murder.
They are accused of assassinating the late Kudirat Abiola - wife of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late MKO Abiola - who was killed on June 4, 1996 at Ikeja.
Mr Al-Mustapha was also accused of attempted murder of the publisher of Guardian Newspapers, Alex Ibru. He and the other accused persons have been in detention since 1999.blame over the delay in his trial.www.mannastores.com
Mr Aturu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that “Al- Mustapha has himself to
“His lawyers are the ones that have been coming up with frivolous suits - which may be their strategy - but which have resulted in 13 years of trial.
“The law is that a man cannot profit from his own wrong. There is no way the courts will allow him to go without concluding the matter,” Mr Aturu said.
In his reaction, Mr Agbaje said: “The courts are doing their best in ensuring that Mr Al-Mustapha’s procedural rights are complied with.
“Mr Al-Mustapha is not deliberately kept in jail. The courts are giving him every opportunity to tell his own side of the story, hence the revelations he gave on Monday.”
According to him, Mr Al-Mustapha’s many applications may have also contributed to the delay in his trial, but at the end, justice would be done.
However, the founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Federick Fasheun said that Mr Al-Mustapha’s trial had become an embarrassment to Nigeria and the judiciary.
Mr Fasheun told NAN that the accused persons had suffered more than enough and should be forgiven.
“The sentence over their allegations would have been spent after 13 years of incarceration,” Mr Fasheun argued.
He urged all good citizens of the nation to join in the appeal for Al-Mustapha’s release.www.mannastores.com