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Tuesday, May 31

Al-Mustapha: I’ll soon disclose what killed Abacha and Abiola

Al-Mustapha: I’ll soon disclose what killed Abacha and Abiola

Hamza Al-Mustapha, chief security officer to Sani Abacha, the late military dictator, says he would soon give the details of what killed Abacha and MKO Abiola, self-acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 election.

Abacha died on June 8, 1988, while Abiola died exactly a day to the first month anniversary of the dictator’s death.

There have been speculations on what killed both men, but Al-Mustapha who had privy information as a result of the office he held said accurate information would be revealed in his memoirs, which is not yet out.

“What killed Abacha is exactly what killed MKO Abiola. But I would reveal that after my court case, still at the supreme court. I would publish a book which has three volumes— the Mustapha’s Memoirs, which will tell what happened under Abacha and how he died,” he said at a press conference in Lagos on Monday.

The retired colonel, who regained freedom three years ago after spending 12 years in detention over the death of Kudirat, Abiola’s wife, said he was innocent of the charges filed against him.

Mustapha said he had not recovered from the trauma of detention and torture, narrating what he went through during that dark period of his life.

“I am just recuperating from what I went through. I went through punishment and torture. I was in chains,” he said.

“I was not allowed to see a doctor, family and lawyer. There was no light in my cell. I only wore my singlet, which was full of blood. You sighted food and you are denied. I was treated like an animal.”

He described Abacha as an honest man, saying those his boss offended while in power were behind reports of the loots allegedly traced to the late dictator.

Al-Mustapha also denied the allegation that he assisted Abacha to stash money in foreign accounts.

“The proper facts about the Abacha loot are not known. Where was the money from? What was it meant for? How was it taken out? Who kept the money there? Abacha was not leaving Nigeria at a later time. His journeys were within Africa because the toes he had stepped upon were bent on removing him,” he said.

“In November 1998, I told the government to prosecute me, if I have any bank account than my salary account with the Bank of the North.”

He also dismissed the allegation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan facilitated his release from the prison to enable head a killer squad of 1,000 snipers ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

He said it was the appellate court which deemed it fit to release him after realizing that he had no case to answer.

“Firstly, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was not the one that facilitated my release. Rather, my release was facilitated by the content of the case as determined by the Court of Appeal. We were not even supposed to have been arrested in the first place,” he said.

“After all, witnesses were induced and contracted to implicate us. At the end of the day, we were subjected to all manner of torture and abuses of our human rights. Today, despite the fact that we were convicted on grounds that were baseless without evidence and even against the submissions of their witnesses, they did the contrary outside what was before the court of law.

“So, when the Appellate Court looked at the matter in totality, we were released based on purely the rule of law. So, anybody saying Jonathan facilitated my release is either one of my persecutors or those who have taken money from them. There are public documents in the public for all to see these facts.

“Nobody contracted me to catch 1,000 mosquitoes under the Jonathan administration, let alone human beings. I am Al-Mustapha. I have my background away from the propaganda peddled by the likes of Obasanjo.”

Al-Mustapha challenged Obasanjo to an open debate, saying the elder statesman was bent on nailing him at all cost.

“Obasanjo has had his day. I am doing my investigation and I have discovered so many things as to what made him (Obasanjo) make such allegation. I have it. I will release it very soon and that is why I have challenged him to an open debate. Obasanjo is my senior in the force; he was a former military head of state, but when issues of law and rights of man are being discussed, definitely equality comes to the fore.

“You cannot put an allegation against your junior because you are a senior, and you believe the junior would keep quiet. No, I would not. That would amount to ignorance. I am not ignorant about our laws.

“I challenge Obasanjo to an open debate so that he can substantiate his allegations before the whole world; but he is yet to oblige the challenge.

“Thank God a new government is here today, where he (Obasanjo) can bring up the issue, requesting it to investigate and, if there is any contract between Jonathan and I to catch one single mosquito, I want to say that I am guilty and want to be tried.”

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