Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, on Monday described the chief security officer to the late military head of state, Sani Abacha, Hamza Mustapha,, as a “pathological liar” for claiming that he had tapes of how Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, was murdered.
Mr. Falana, who was the lead speaker at the June 12 anniversary organised by the Ondo State Government in Akure, said the former security adviser was only trying to rewrite history and deceive the people to appear to be a friend of the late Mr. Abiola.
He said for the four years Mr. Abiola was in detention under a “horrendous prison condition,” Al-mustapha made it impossible for Abiola to enjoy his life.
“When the Pope..Pope Paul, visited Nigeria, he had almost persuaded Abacha to free Abiola and other prisoners, Al-Mustapha who was watching the meeting through a CCTV, entered the room and said oga yakari, enough, and that was the end of the meeting,” Mr. Falana said.
“Secondly, Dr. Falomo, Abiola’s personal physician, was allowed by the government to visit Abiola. When Al-Mustapha learned that he was waiting to see Abiola, he got him arrested. He was already taken to Kaduna prison, it took the intervention of Abacha to free Dr. Falomo.
“Three, Chief Abiola fell down in the bathroom in one occasion, his legs were swollen and Arch Bishop Tutu confirmed this when he visited, Al-Mustapha did not allow him to have any medical treatment.
“If the fellow now comes around saying he was the best friend of the late Chief MKO Abiola, he is a liar, he is now talking because the witness is no longer alive.”
On the claims by Al-Mustapha that he had the tape on how Abiola was killed, Mr. Falana said the former security adviser’s claims were untrue.
“Please that guy is a pathological liar. I was at the Oputa Panel. He claimed that all his tapes had been stolen by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar. Those tapes have not been released, how then has he now got the new tape he is talking about,” queried Mr. Falana.
“At the time Chief Abiola was killed, (not that Abiola just died, he was given poisonous tea. That is the first time in Nigeria that a foreigner was allowed to give tea to a Nigerian prisoner), Al-Mustapha was in Enugu at that time, so he was not in the Villa. So whatever he is saying, is at best, hearsay. It has no value in law.”
He also said that the retired Major carries the guilty conscience in relation to the death of the wife of MKO, Kudirat Abiola following the confessions of Sergeant Jabila Rogers at the Oputa Panel that he was ordered by Mr. Al-Mustapha to kill her.
He further argued that the discharge of Al-Mustapha by the Appeal Court did not expressly say he did not kill MKO Abiola’s wife, adding that, “what the court of appeal said was that Rogers has changed his story, so let us give him the benefit of the doubt.”
“So, for Al-Mustapha, conscience is tormenting him for the death of an unarmed lady on the streets of Lagos,” Falana said.
But Al-Mustapha had told journalists in Ibadan recently where he delivered a lecture, that although he had forgiven all those who had hands in his travails, he owed Nigerians a duty to expose the mystery surrounding the tape on how Mr. Abiola was murdered.
He said Sergeant Rogers was induced with money, houses in choice towns in Nigeria to frame him and get him hanged.
“On October 21, 1998, I was arrested because of a video cassette, not because of the late Kudirat Abiola. The family of the late Abiola was, as it is, a very close family to me. But something happened which a particular camera in the villa captured,” he had said.
“So, they wanted to take the video tape and burn it so that Nigerians will not know what happened. That was the beginning and cause of my travails.”