MKO ABIOLA: Supreme Court upturns Al Mustapha’s case

The Supreme Court has granted the prayers of Lagos State to appeal against the acquittal of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha for the [neutralization] of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division on July 12, 2013, acquitted Al-Mustapha of the murder charge.

Kudirat was the wife late Chief Moshood Abiola, MKO.

Lagos State had accused Al-Mustapha, the then CSO of late General Sani Abacha of playing a role in her murder.

Justice Walter Onnoghen held that Lagos State’s application for the leave was successful since it was not challenged.

“In the circumstance, the applicant, the Lagos State Government, is granted the leave to appeal the July 12, 2013, judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos.

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“The would-be appellant is therefore given 30 days within which to file its notice of appeal.

“The date for the hearing of the appeal shall be fixed upon receipt of this notice by the court,’’ he said.

Earlier, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), counsel to Al-Mustapha, withdrew an application against re-opening of the case.

Daudu did not disclose the reason he withdrew his objection.

He had argued that the applicant ‘slept’ over its right of appeal for about four years, adding that it was against court rule.

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NAN had reported that Lagos State Government had charged Al-Mustapha, Mohammed Abacha, and Lateef Shofolahan.

The three persons were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and murder of Kudirat, before a Lagos High Court.

A previous court ruling in 2012 had found the accused guilty as charged and sentenced them to death by hanging.

However, the Court of Appeal upturned the judgment.

The court held that the evidence against the accused was not strong enough to warrant the death sentence passed on them.