After 13 years in detention and what could be described as the longest criminal case in Nigeria, a Lagos High Court in Igbosere yesterday convicted Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and a protocol officer in the Chief MKO Abiola Campaign Organisation, Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan. Al-Mustapha was Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late General Sani Abacha.
The court, presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada found them guilty on the two-count charge of conspiracy and murder and consequently sentenced them to death by hanging.
The convicts, who had been in detention since 1999, were standing trial for the murder, on June 4, 1996, of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. The duo were prosecuted by the Lagos State Government. In a judgment that lasted over seven hours, Justice Dada held that the evidence presented by the prosecution was manifestly reliable, showing that the defendants murdered Alhaja Abiola in cold blood.