SHOULD AL-MUSTAPHA BE KILLED?

Al-Mustapha must be killed!

OSHO SAMUEL ADETUNJI

‘What goes around comes around’ says the law of retribution. If you slay people by the sword of your tongue without mercy, expect the same to happen to you sooner or later. This was the case for Chief Security Officer of General Sanni Abacha, Hamza al-Mustapha. He was in charge of extrajudicial killings of those seen as a threat to Abacha’s regime and he was also given exceptional power considerably greater than that of his superiors.

After the demise of Abacha, he was arrested and tried for murder and attempted murder. On 30 January 2012, a Lagos High Court convicted Major Hamza Al-Mustapha over the murder of of Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola and sentenced to death by hanging.

The court ruled that it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that Prosecuting Witness 3, Katako drove the car that the killers of Kudirat were before PW 2 (Sgt. Rogers) opened fire on her.

“It is a fact that 1st defendant, (Mustapha) and the 2nd defendant, (Sofolahan) met, and it is also a fact that the 2nd defendant aided the killers of Kudirat with information to enable them carry out the execution. “The defendants are found guilty of conspiracy and murder and are thereby sentenced to death by hanging until you are pronounced dead,” the court said.

The court ruled that the same fate should befall Lateef Sofolahan who was accused with Al-Mustapha of taking the life of the late Kudirat. To the family of Chief Abiola it was relief, those 16 years after her murder justice has finally been done while Al-Mustapha’s relations wailed in court describing the verdict as unjust. They said that after he had spent twelve years in custody sentencing him to death was cruel. Why would they say such openly? Such a man does not worth to live after he has been convicted of taking another person’s life in a cruel manner. Assasination!

The impunity with which his master, Sanni Abacha treated the whole country still remains indelible to this present day. If Abacha was the devil then Hamza was the instrument of mass destruction in the hand of the devil. There is no Nigerian that could make boast of Abacha’s administration. Abacha was not punished by Nigerians but by God with a disgraceful death that was highly unprecedented. Abacha escaped but Hamza could not, then he should be used as a scapegoat.

Al Mustapha deserves to die due to other series of attempted murder of Alex Ibru, publisher of The Guardian and Abacha’s Minister of Internal Affairs in 1996. Another charge was laid against al-Mustapha for the attempted murder of former Naval chief Isaac Porbeni. Dictators and cruel leaders in the past such as: Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi were convicted of extrajudicial killings and they also died in an ignominious way. If he is being killed by hanging such an act will be a stringent warning to evil perpertrators.

In this country, we have had a myriad of unresolved assassination cases that have dragged the name of the country in the mud. One that Nigerians will never forget was the assassination of the then Attorney General of the Federation, Bola Ige on December 23, 2001. Al-Mustapha has dined with the devil and the devil is ready to take him.

Never stop hoping for justice because it will surely come one day and think twice before doing something evil.

Al-Mustapha should not be killed!

TIJANI ‘MAYOWA EMMANUEL

What do you call a judicial system which is unable to bring to book the people responsible for the demise of its own Chief Justice? What do you call a judicial system that sentenced a thief who stole N100billion to a year behind the bars and another who stole N500, 000 to Life in Prison?

The Nigerian judicial system has shown how insensitive she can be to cases that deal directly with National Security. It’s no news that Hamza Al-mustapha was sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Mojisola Dada at a Lagos High court. Many are of the opinion that the verdict was fair claiming that he who kills must also be killed.

I am of an opposite opinion; Al- Mustapha must not be killed for the following reasons:

-Al-mustapha is Military and was merely following orders given by his Boss, Sani Abacha, a man we all know wanted all June 12 activists to include Kudirat Abiola.

-From his confession; He pleaded for leniency before the Oputa panel saying he had to obey orders and do his duty.

– The evidence-in-chief that the verdict was based upon was recanted (Disowned) by the witnesses involved (Sgt. Rogers and Katako). Therefore the verdict was made on disowned evidence.

-For the sake of peace; it has been predicted by many forces of the world that our country will dis-integrate by the end of 2015. The death of Al- Mustapha will only hasten these predictions as it would foster the enmity between Northern and southern Nigeria as it is already being seen as such by the Northern Leaders and the “Great” Boko Haram Sect. For the sake of peace, the Nation should be lenient to Mustapha and at worst sentence to life in Prison.

Conclusively, if Mustapha be killed for following orders, then all military men who have killed in the name of orders should be sentenced to death by hanging.

CONCLUSION:

This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. SHOULD AL-MUSTAPHA BE KILLED?

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