The Nigerian Army has disociated itself from reports in some section of the online media of plans to decorate the recently released chief security officer to the late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha with the rank of a brigadier general.
According to the Director of Army Public Relations Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru, there is no truth to the report even though Major Al-Mustapha is still enlisted in the Nigerian army.
According to him ‘The Nigerian Army as a professional force, will be guided by all administrative procedures guided by extant administrative rules and regulations in the handling of the status of Major Al-Mustapha such as the Armed Forces of Nigeria harmonized terms and conditions of service amongst others.
The Nigerian Army had earlier confirmed claims by Major Hamza Al-Mustapha that he remains a personnel of the Nigerian Army, but did not say if his status will be upgraded from the rank of a Major in the Nigerian Army.
Al Mustapha who was incarcerated for 14 years while on trial for the murder of late Kudirat Abiola the wife of Chief MKO Abiola.
The Appeal Court in Lagos dismissed charges of conspiracy to murder Alhaja Kudirat Abiola levelled against the former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
The Court in a unanimous decision ruled that there was no direct circumstantial evidence that he conspired with anyone as evidence of prosecution witnesses in that regard were contradictory.
Justice Rita Pemu who read the lead judgment held that there was no direct circumstantial evidence that he conspired with anyone as evidence of prosecution witnesses in that regard were contradictory.
She further held that based on facts and evidence before the court, it is certainly not Al-Mustapha who pulled the trigger and murdered Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.
The Court holds that he is liable to be discharged and acquitted.
The duo of Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan had appealed against the judgment of a Lagos High Court which sentenced them to death for the June 4, 1996 murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the deceased winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola.