Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso has said that Major Hamza Al-Mustapaha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha,was unjustly detained for about 14 years, saying his release by an Appellate Court was a vindication of his innocence.
The Governor spoke while hosting Al-Mustapha and his family members at the Government House, Kano. Also in attendance was the Founder of the Oodua People’s Congress, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun.
Al-Mustapha was charged for murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. He was sentenced to death by hanging by a High Court in Lagos on January 30, 2013.
But, a Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Friday overturned the judgment, saying the lower court was only desperate to convict the accused at all cost. Al-Mustapha was subsequently discharged and acquitted.
“Hamza Al-Mustapha was taken away in 1999 in tattered clothes and in chains under a pitiable situation; but today, he has returned a hero. We have always insisted that he was unjustly held. We felt concerned and decided to be part of justice, “Governor Kwankwanso said.
Al-Mustapha could not control his emotion as he narrated his ordeal at the Kirikiri Maximum prison in Lagos. He told the Governor that he was a victim of trumped-up charges.
“I must say that I lost my father and my mother, whom I was forced to see only two times in 15 years.
“Even when the court forced the authorities to allow them to set my eyes on them, the approvals of the court were flagrantly refused. And I was kept and punished the more just as a ploy to ensure that I did not set eyes on my parents.
“I saw my father in 2001, and later in May 2007. My mother, I was allowed to see in 2001 August, and then I was allowed also to see her after a long battle, in 2006 and she died last year, in the month of Ramadan.
“Things that we went through are things that I cannot sum up anywhere. But, all I can say is that yesterday is gone.
“Those who have perpetrated what they did against us have done it in their own deductions, analysis, and feelings but to us yesterday is gone. We have drawn a line and we have forgiven them. We are forging ahead to set examples,” he said.
On the support given to him by the OPC Founder, Fredrick Fasheun, he had this to say, “I have found a father, highly dogmatic, a senior citizen of this country, a detribalised elder, an intellectual, a person that is a father indeed with a wide shoulder and a big hearts a man that is very reliable, responsible, dependable, Dr. Fredrick Fasheun.”