Court today found HAMZAH AL-MUSTAPHA guilty of Kudirat Abiola’s murder. He has been sentenced to death by hanging. He has right of appeal. It should be recalled that Al-Mustapha joined the army and was trained as an intelligence operative. He was appointed Chief Security Officer to the Head of State (CSOHS) with a Special Strike Force Unit during Abacha’s military regime (17 November 1993 – 8 June 1998).
Al-Mustapha was instantly removed from his job by the transitional regime established by General Abdulsalam Abubakar after Abacha’s sudden death in June 1998. In October that year he appeared in court with Abacha’s son, Mohammed, charged with the murder in June 1996 of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the presidential candidate M.K.O Abiola (who had died in jail in July 1998). At the trial, the killer, Sergeant Barnabas Jabila, said he was obeying orders from his superior, Al-Mustapha. Al Mustapha and four others were also charged with a 1996 attempt to murder Alex Ibru, publisher of The Guardian and Abacha’s Minister of Internal Affairs. Another charge was laid against Al-Mustapha for the attempted murder of former Naval chief Isaac Porbeni