Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Ishaya Bamaiyi was today discharged and acquitted over a four- count charge of attempted murder brought against him by the Lagos state government after nine years in detention.
Bamaiyi who served under the military administration of late General Sani Abacha was arraigned by the Lagos state government of the publisher of the Guardian newspaper, Mr. Alex Ibru, and an eminent Delta state indigene, Mr. Isaac Porbeni.
The former Army Chief in his defence had alleged that he was being framed for not supporting the presidency of retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 after opening his defense on Tuesday at the Ikeja High Court.
General Bamaiyi who was led in evidence by his counsel Idemudia, in his defence had told the court that he objected to the insinuations that his late boss and head of state, that his late boss General Abacha had planned to drop his military garb and continue as a civilian President.
He also objected strongly to the claims that a retired General was to become President after former Head of State, General Abdusalam Abubakar, who supervised the transition civilian rule and handed over to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.
General Bamaiyi said he conducted an opinion poll and found out that the image of the military had suffered a serious bashing, as many of the citizens had grown tired of military rule, and had lost respect for soldiers.
He said he had suggested that an experienced civilian, in the person of Chief Olu Falae, should be made to take over the reins of government from General Abubakar at the time, and felt vindicated by his suggestion, as Chief Obasanjo’s government turned out to be the worst in Nigeria’s political history.
General Bamaiyi alleged he was framed in the murder attempts on the lives of prominent Nigerians, because of his lack of support for Obasanjo’s Presidency.
He claimed that as former Lagos Garrison Commander, he never authorised the movement of weapons and specifically debunked Sergeant Rogers’ claims that he gave instructions and handed out weapons for the attempted murder of Alex Ibru, Pat Utomi and Pa Abraham Adesanya.
He denied ever meeting with the star witness and hatch-man Sgt. Rogers or having conspired with Frank Omenka, Al-Mustapha, Rabo Lawal or any of the other accused persons.
The General accused his juniors, of trying to eliminate him for his involved in NADECO activities and insisted that the charges brought against him, was meant to keep him busy and frustrate him for not supporting General Obasanjo’s presidency.