Former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha, Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha has alleged that he was framed up for the death late Kudirat Abiola, wife of acclaimed winner of 1993 Presidential election, M.K.O. Abiola.
Speaking with Sun, Al-Mustapha maintained that he was innocent of the crime, stressing that some people who never liked him were behind his travail.
According to him, “I was framed for many other offences before that of late Kudirat Abiola of blessed memory. On Friday, October 21, 1998, a message came from Abuja to the GOC, General Popoola, to place me under arrest for an offence of attempting a coup against the government from Enugu.
“The GOC was shocked but this man is here working through the night, preparing the operational room and re-setting the intelligence department for the division, as well as shuttling between Enugu to Bakassi.
“He couldn’t place me under arrest; he called me and asked me, ‘what is between you and some people that insist you must be arrested?’ ‘I said, there is so much underground that we have not spoken.’
“Another order came to say he must quickly arrest me that I was planning a coup and getting military tanks and artillery from Libya. So I was arrested and taken to Yobe in search of arms and ammunitions.
“Before then all pages of newspapers, television and radio were awash that Mustapha was staging a coup against government from Enugu. I just handed over power to this same man in Abuja peacefully on 16 conditions. I drew with my hands 16 points of agreement between this man and I. If I had wanted, we would have taken this country as simple as this; greed for power and money don’t make you. Service to this country is what makes life better.
“I was taken to Yobe where groundnut were stockpiled in the 60s and houses were searched; that was the allegation but they did that just to show to the media that I was actually being arrested for a coup. It was later; I was now charged for being in possession of late General Abacha’s money.
“A panel was set up and they found nothing. There was also the charge of me, being in possession of late General Abacha’s properties across Nigeria. I was badly tortured for rejecting most of the houses that were brought to me. I was in chains, my hands, leg and neck was put in that condition. Any picture they showed to me, immediately I said no, I was subjected to what you can’t believe, beating, burning, hanging. They used to hang me upside down and I was almost all the time bleeding but they didn’t stop at that.
“At some point, all I was doing was to accept anything they brought to me. ‘Is this your house? ‘Yes it is mine,’ they would send soldiers to occupy the house. ‘Is this General Abacha’s house,’ ‘yes I replied.’ So when I was doing that, they were not punishing me anymore, until they put soldiers to occupy one of the houses that belonged to the second-in-command, late General Mike Akhigbe, and then there was a fight. Akhigbe said, ‘I have been building this house for how many years, how dare Mustapha say it is his house?’ There was fight between the number one and the number two.
“We now entered another phase. They said I was to be charged for alleged attempted murder of Alex Ibru. When that couldn’t work, they brought us to Lagos and later they returned me to Abuja to prepare another charge against me.
“The late Kudirat Abiola’s case was the matter at hand. Her case had four witnesses. Number one was Rogers. Rogers was tutored on what to say in a court of law. Some of those lawyers that were used in the Attorney General’s office of Lagos at the time were rewarded. Today most of them are judges in Lagos State High Court by teaching Rogers what to do to frame me. They wrote statements for Rogers to read in court insisting it should be memorised and they named it daily bible.
“Rogers requested for a house in Ilorin, cars, and work for his wife. He was on salary; they were changing his cars every six months, all with a view to quickly pass judgement on me to get me hanged. They got the Attorney General of the Federation at the time, late Bola Ige, the sole coordinator, and I wrote him a letter when I got to Oputa panel. It was an eleven page letter in the court of law telling him of the pointers.
“I filed it in the court of Justice Mojisola Dada so that the public can understand the game going on. We were kept in Ikoyi prison at the beginning, then later in Kirikiri prison and Kuje prison for a period of eight years, ten months.
“For five years and two months I was kept in many places in Nigeria, and I was been tortured daily. I was only allowed to wear an inner wear and a trouser, no shoe, no water to bath, no brushing of my tooth. I was entitled to one cup of water every day. All they wanted was for me to accept what I did not do.
“Eventually, Rogers came to the same court when they could not fulfill some of his requirements, because we insist he should take the Bible and swear to answer the questions we were putting across to him, to say ‘we were told to frame Mustapha, they taught me to go to Oputa panel and abuse him. Madam, you are the one that taught me what to say and I came to Oputa panel and said it exactly.”