from November 1993 to June 1998. After Abacha’s death he was arrested
and tried for murder and attempted murder of Kudirat Abiola.
January 2012, a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere convicted Major
Hamza Al-Mustapha over the murder of Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the
acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Chief
Moshood Abiola. He was also sentenced to death by hanging but was
discharged and acquitted of the crime by the appeal court, Lagos
division on Friday, July 12, 2013.
not enough evidence to incriminate Al-Mustapha in the murder of the Late
Kudirat Abiola. On 12 July 2013, The Court of Appeal in Lagos
discharged and acquitted Hamza Al-Mustapha from the murder of Kudirat
Abiola. The verdict overturned that of the Lagos High Court which
sentenced him to death by hanging. The presiding judge, Justice Rita
Pemu, accused the lower court jude, Justice Mojisola Dada, of being
‘‘stroked to secure a conviction by all means.’’ Consequently setting
gasping. Ordinarily, I could not just touch him. It was not allowed in
our job. But under the situation on
ground, I knelt close to him and shouted, “General Sani Abacha, Sir,
please grant me permission to touch and carry you.”
Contrary to insinuations, speculations and sad rumours initiated by
some sections of the society, I maintain that the sudden collapse of the
health system of the late Head of State started previous day (Sunday,
7th June, 1998) right from the Abuja International Airport immediately
after one of the white security operatives or personnel who accompanied
President Yasser Arafat of Palestine shook hands with him (General
Abacha) I had noticed the change in the countenance of the late
Commander-in-Chief and informed the Aide-de-Camp, Lt. Col. Abdallah,
accordingly. He, however, advised that we keep a close watch on the Head
Later in the evening of 8th June, 1998, around 6p.m;
his doctor came around, administered an injection to stabilize him. He
was advised to have a short rest. Happily, enough, by 9p.m; the Head of
State was bouncing and receiving visitors until much later when General
Jeremiah Timbut Useni, the then Minister of the Federal Capital
Territory, came calling. He was fond of the Head of State. They were
very good friends.
They stayed and chatted together till about
3.35a.m. A friend of the house was with me in my office and as he was
bidding me farewell, he came back to inform me that the FCT Minister,
General Useni was out of the Head of State’s Guest House within the
Villa. I then decided to inform the ADC and other security boys that I
would be on my way home to prepare for the early morning event at the
International Conference Centre.
At about 5a.m; the security
guards ran to my quarters to inform me that the Head of State was very
unstable. At first, I thought it was a coup attempt. Immediately, I
prepared myself fully for any eventuality.
As an intelligence
officer and the Chief Security Officer to the Head of State for that
matter, I devised a means of diverting the attention of the security
boys from my escape route by asking my wife to continue chatting with
them at the door – she was in the house while the boys were outside.
From there, I got to the Guest House of the Head of State before them.
When I got to the bedside of the Head of State, he was already gasping.
Ordinarily, I could not just touch him. It was not allowed in our job.
But under the situation on ground, I knelt close to him and shouted,
“General Sani Abacha, Sir, please grant me permission to touch and carry
you.” I again knocked at the stool beside the bed and shouted in the
same manner, yet he did not respond. I then realized there was a serious
danger. I immediately called the Head of State’s personal physician,
Dr. Wali, who arrived the place under eight minutes from his house.
He immediately gave Oga – General Abacha – two doses of injection, one
at the heart and another close to his neck. This did not work apparently
as the Head of State had turned very cold. He then told me that the
Head of State was dead and nothing could be done after all.
there and then asked the personal physician to remain with the dead body
while I dashed home to be fully prepared for the problems that might
arise from the incident. As soon as I informed my wife, she collapsed
and burst into tears. I secured my house and then ran back.
that point, the Aide-de-Camp had been contacted by me and we decided
that great caution must be taken in handling the grave situation.
Again, I must reiterate that the issue of my Boss dying on top of women
was a great lie just as the insinuation that General Sani Abacha ate and
died of poisoned apples was equally a wicked lie. My question is: did
Chief M.K.O Abiola die of poisoned apples or did he die on top of women?
As I had stated at the Oputa Panel, their deaths were organized. Pure
It was at this point that I used our special
communication gadgets to diplomatically invite the Service Chiefs,
Military Governors and some few elements purportedly to a meeting with
the Head of State by 9a.m. at the Council Chamber. That completed, I
also decided to talk to some former leaders of the nation to inform them
that General Sani Abacha would like to meet them by 9a.m.
Situation became charged however, when one of the Service Chiefs,
Lieutenant General Ishaya Rizi Bamaiyi, who pretended to be with us,
suggested he be made the new Head of State after we had quietly informed
him of the death of General Sani Abacha. He even suggested we should
allow him access to Chief Abiola. We smelt a rat and other heads of
security agencies, on hearing this, advised I move Chief Abiola to a
safer destination. I managed to do this in spite of the fact that I had
been terribly overwhelmed with the crisis at hand.
But then, when
some junior officers over-heard the suggestion of one of the Service
Chiefs earlier mentioned, it was suggested to me that we should finish
all the members of the Provisional Ruling Council and give the general
public an excuse that there was a meeting of the PRC during which a
shoot-out occurred between some members of the Provisional Ruling
Council and the Body Guards to the Head of State
When I sensed
that we would be contending with far more delicate issues than the one
on ground, I talked to Generals Buba Marwa and Ibrahim Sabo who both
promptly advised us – the junior officers – against any bloodshed. They
advised we contact General Ibrahim Babangida (former Military President)
who equally advised against any bloodshed but that we should support
the most senior officer in the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) to be
the new Head of State.
Since the words of our elders are words of
wisdom, we agreed to support General Jeremiah Useni. Along the line,
General Bamaiyi lampooned me saying, “Can’t you put two and two together
to be four? Has it not occurred to you that General Useni who was the
last man with the Head of State might have poisoned him, knowing full
well that he was the most senior officer in the PRC?”
became furious with General Useni since General Abacha’s family had
earlier on complained severally about the closeness of the two Generals;
at that, a decision was taken to storm General Useni’s house with
almost a battalion of soldiers to effect his arrest. Again, some heads
of security units and agencies, including my wife, advised against the
The next most senior person and officer in government was
General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who was then the Chief of Defence Staff.
We rejected the other Service Chief, who, we believed, was too ambitious
and destructive. We settled for General Abubakar and about six of us
called him inside a room in the Head of State’s residence to break the
news of the death of General Abacha to him.
As a General with
vast experience, Abdulsalami Abubakar, humbly requested to see and pray
for the soul of General Abacha which we allowed. Do we consider this a
mistake? Because right there, he – Abubakar – went and sat on the seat
of the late Head of State. Again, I was very furious. Like I said at the
Oputa Panel, if caution was not applied, I would have gunned him down.
The revolution the boys were yearning for would have started right
there. The assumption that we could not have succeeded in the revolution
was a blatant lie. We were in full control of the State House and the
Brigade of Guards. We had loyal troops in Keffi and in some other areas
surrounding the seat of government – Abuja. But I allowed peace to reign
because we believed it would create further crises in the country.
We followed the advice of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and the
wise counsel of some loyal senior officers and jointly agreed that
General Abdulsalami Abubakar be installed Head of State,
Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces immediately after the
burial of General Sani Abacha in Kano. It is an irony of history that
the same Service Chief who wanted to be Head of State through bloodshed,
later instigated the new members of the Provisional Ruling Council
against us and branded us killers, termites and all sorts of hopeless
names. They planned, arranged our arrest, intimidation and subsequent
jungle trial in 1998 and 1999. These, of course, led to our terrible
condition in several prisons and places of confinement.