BY MSUE AZA, Kaduna
Former chief security officer (CSO) to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha(rtd), yesterday, accused some Yoruba Leaders, led by Chief Ayo Opadokun, of allegedly collecting bribe from late Chief MKO Abiola’s killers in Aso Villa.
Chief Opadokun has denied the allegation describing the former CSO as “a pathological liar that must be ignored.”
Speaking with journalists in Kaduna, shortly after a meeting to broker peace between the North and South-Eastern part of country over the quit notice issued to Igbos by Coalition of Arewa Youth groups, Al-Mustapha, alleged that,Opadokun led others to the villa to meet Abiola’s killers, but came out laughing after receiving dollars, just a day after their leader (MKO) was killed.
Al-Mustapha was remanded in the prison for 14 years in connection with the death of Abiola and his wife, Mrs. Kudirat Abiola.
Al-Mustapha who claimed to have video taped how Opadokun and others collected bribe over Abiola’s death said, he had since submitted a copy to a Lagos High Court, presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada.
Al-Mustapha said:”Chief Opadokun is someone I respect so much as an elder. But what came out in the newspaper is his own imagination and falsehood against me. If you know my character, you will know that, I will not be scared to say the truth, it does not matter who, it does not matter where, but you will later realise that I told you the truth. I initially didn’t want to reply him, but now that you have asked, I will tell you what happened.
“When Abiola died, a day after, he (Opadokun) was invited to the Presidency, and he came to the villa alongside his friends. He came with anger into the villa. Those who killed Abiola invited him to the villa. At that material time, they came to fight the government, they wanted to set the country ablaze, considering the tone they came with. They went into the meeting, they came out laughing, yelling and gearing as if nothing happened in the country.
“A day after Abiola’s death if you remember, the country was on the verge of collapse. But seeing what was going on and the things around Abiola led me to suspect them, I had not handed over the villa to Abdulsalami Abubakar government then, so I decided to video tape what they were doing and I have the tape and I have tendered the tape before a court of law, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court.
“In that tape, money exchanged hands and they traded with Abiola and that is my anger. The tape is in that court, anybody that wants to watch it can get it and watch, it is now a public document. I didn’t want to talk about it before, but money was brought from CBN in my presence and it was shared.”
“So, if I talk about Abiola’s wellbeing and safety, and that of his family, I am telling Nigerians what really happened. Why should a person from the same South West, who is supposed to protect Abiola’s interest, now be seen to be angry with me? He should be happy with me for saying the fact, so that it will not happen again in Nigeria.
“Now, they have forgotten about Abiola but the moment I talk, they will come to the pages of newspapers and start insulting me, I didn’t want to respond to them, but since you have asked, I have to say this. All they have done is that they took money and the moment you talk about Abiola, you become their enemies and they will abuse you in the papers, that is what they are doing to me, but I don’t care.
“In Yoruba land where culture is the watch word, late MKO Abiola was the last Aare Ona Kakanfo and for a Yoruba man of Opadokun’s standing, going against Aare Ona Kakanfo, what is that thing, I tell you, it is dollars. Thank you very much, I will speak more on this much later God’s willing”,Al-Mustapha maintained.
However, in a swift reaction, the convener, Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform and former NADECO leader, Chief Ayo Opadokun denied the allegations, describing Al-Mustaphaas a pathological liar that must be ignored.
Opadokun said, “ Al-Mustapha is a pathological liar that must be ignored. When he was being prosecuted for the murder of Kudirat Abiola , and we said what he did was wrong he just suddenly made this allegation against us to the media but when I castigated him , he recanted that he didn’t say so, that we didn’t collect money.
“Now he has started blabbing again , he is seeking for attention , he should be ignored . We are the ones who sacrificed a lot , our lives for the restoration of democracy to Nigeria we did everything humanly possible for the validation of Chief Abiola’s mandate , the de-annulment of his victory in the June 12, 1993 polls , we are credible people unlike him , he was the veritable instrument used by the late dictator Gen. Sani Abacha to punish, to humiliate and to oppress Chief MKO Abiola in detention. He will have to account for his misdeed one day.”
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