The Nigerian Army has debunked speculations that Major Hamza Al-Mustapha has been promoted and decorated with a new rank of Brigadier General.
There had been speculations on social media in the past few days that Mr. Al-Mustapha, the former Chief security Officer to former head of state, General Sani Abacha, had been given rapid promotion.
The major regained his freedom on Friday after 14 years in detention.
But the Army, in a statement by its Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, said the publication was untrue.
Mr. Attahiru said, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a publication on the Internet about the purported decoration of Major Hamza Al–Mustapha
“The Army, as a professional force, wishes to state that all administrative procedures are guided by extant administrative rules and regulations such as the Armed Forces of Nigeria Harmonised Terms and Conditions among others.
“The Army wishes to advice the media to always cross check facts before going to the press, clarification of facts leads to avoidance of misinformation, misinterpretation and sensationalism in reportage.”
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos, had on Friday discharged and acquitted Mr. Al-Mustapha over an alleged conspiracy and the murder of Kudirat Abiola, on June 4, 1996.
The court had upturned a death sentence handed down on him on January 30, 2013, by Mojisola Dada, of a Lagos High Court.
On Monday, Colonel John Agim, Chief of Staff in the Directorate of the Army Public Relations told reporters that the former CSO was still in the Army.
“With regards to Mustapha’s release, well, I want to confirm that he is still in the army,” Mr. Agim said. “The case is going to be handled by the army administratively in line with the harmonised terms and conditions of service.’’
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