Over 26 years after her gruesome murder, the children of the late Kudirat Abiola, then wife of the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, have accused Major Hamza Al Mustapha (rtd) the former chief security officer (CSO) to the late General Sani Abacha of masterminding the killing of their mother.
The Kudirat’s children in a press statement they issued yesterday and signed by Khafila Abiola made available to journalists alleged that Al-Mustapha killed their mother;
They faulted Al-Mustapha’s claim that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo instigated Sergeant Rogers to falsely name him as the killer of their mother.
The children of Kudirat Abiola assassinated on 4th June, 1996, in Lagos, recalled proceedings at the Oputa Panel where Sergeant Rogers freely stated that he assassinated their mother and attempted to murder Senator Abraham Adesanya and Chief Alex Ibru, the late publisher of The Guardian Newspaper, based on the instructions of Al-Mustapha.
They noted that the evidence of Sergeant Rogers was not challenged by Al-Mustapha and his lawyers at the Oputa Panel and that the Lagos State High Court convicted and sentenced the armed agents of Al-Mustapha to prison for the attempted murder of Senator Abraham Adesanya.
The statement reads in part: “The Lagos State High Court also convicted and sentenced Al-Mustapha and his accomplices to death for the cold-blooded murder of our mother. Their subsequent acquittal by the Court of Appeal was most likely politically-motivated.
“The appeal filed against the judgment is currently pending at the Supreme Court.
“However, Al-Mustapha may be counting on the pervasive culture of impunity in Nigeria, to not only attempt to deny his dastardly role in the assassination of a defenceless woman; but to also now contemplate running for office, along with Mohammed Abacha, who was alleged to have provided his driver to convey the assassins to carry out the mission.
“Impunity lays waste to the promise of democracy for which our dear mother paid the ultimate price. As those that oversaw her assassination now seek to rewrite the history of what they did, we are forced to seek justice for our beloved mother within a jurisdiction not for to the political games that hold sway in Nigeria.
“Justice may be delayed but it must not be denied,” they said..
Al-Mustapha, who is the presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in the 2023 general election, had on November 8, 2022, alleged that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo coached Sergeant Barnabas Jabila Mshiola, aka Sergeant Rogers, on what to say to implicate him in the various high-profile political assassinations in the country during Abacha’s regime.
The former CSO made the allegations when he featured as a guest in the presidential candidates’ series on 90MinutesAfrica with Rudolf Okonkwo and Chido Onumah.
In the interview published by SaharaReporters, Al-Mustapha, who was convicted by a Lagos High Court for the murder of Kudirat Abiola but later acquitted by the Court of Appeal, while answering questions during the interview, alleged that Sergeant Rogers had recanted the testimony he presented at the Oputa Panel.
He said Rogers confessed that Osinbajo, the attorney-general of Lagos State at the time, coached him on what to say to incriminate him.
He said, “Sergeant Rogers and one Abdul Katanko came to the court and then revealed all that they were asked to say during the Oputa Panel.”
He continued: “Rogers made mention of the Lagos prosecutors, including the present vice president who was the attorney-general of Lagos State at that time. Rogers told the court that it was the Attorney General of Lagos State and some of the prosecutors, who I learned are now judges in Lagos High Court today, who taught him what to say.”