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Al Mustapha -An Egotistical Unrepentant Evildoer

August 8, 2011


Only the foolish and the wicked will continue to applaud the theatrics of Major Hamza Al Mustapha, former chief security officer to late President Sani Abacha as, evidently, the man is totally lacking in humane remorse and appropriate repentance.  I believe it is time Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, status, faith or political affiliation, told him to go away.



Only the foolish and the wicked will continue to applaud the theatrics of Major Hamza Al Mustapha, former chief security officer to late President Sani Abacha as, evidently, the man is totally lacking in humane remorse and appropriate repentance.  I believe it is time Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, status, faith or political affiliation, told him to go away.


Even if the courts fail eventually to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he instructed and supplied the weapons to murder Kudirat Abiola, wife of late Chief M K O Abiola, the adjudged winner of 1993 presidential elections, Al Mustapha was a major conductor in arguably the most brutal regime the country has ever known.  That alone should elicit a measure of penitence from decent persons but, apparently, not Al Mustapha.  


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Any hopes that the lengthy period of his incarceration would have reformed the worst of him, flies as Al Mustapha continues to seize every opportunity to demonstrate his antipathy towards the peace, unity and political progress of Nigeria.


Here is a man that, when given the rare, perhaps undeserved, opportunity to make Nigeria and Nigerians better, by his own admission and other sordid jaw-dropping revelations, failed dismally.  Yet, haughty and contemptuous, he continues to offend our collective intelligence with, by now well-worn, pranks designed for no more than to delay reckoning.  Useless bravado, barely tolerable as it was, from a man accused of heinous crimes, has now turned to barefaced cheek.  


While the entertainment value of his antics is not in doubt, Al Mustapha’s capacity for intrigue is highly overrated.  The only grace he is enjoying now is the pitiful weakness of mainstream Nigerian media which, seeking substitution for factual and investigative journalism, attempt to elevate obvious (possibly sponsored) fallacy to the level of a probability.  


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It is a known fact that governments expend vast amounts to train intelligence officers in various skills, including subterfuge and duplicity, and it is a fact also that operatives sometimes employ such skills to extricate themselves from unpleasant situations, as the one Al Mustapha now finds himself.  However, if these school boyish escapades are all Al Mustapha can muster, literally to save his own neck, surely we are getting poor value for our money.  His efforts so far are like an errant child being chased but who, wise in his own eyes, turns round and announces that the bogeyman is chasing behind his adult pursuer. 


For his latest caper, Al Mustapha claimed he possessed damning evidence of why former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, wants to put him to the death through trial.   These proofs, according to him, are video and audio record of how General Abubakar bribed late Chief Bola Ige and late Pa Abraham Adesanya to betray Abiola’s mandate and contain evidence of Abubakar’s complicity in Abiola’s murder.  He even quoted the total amounts purportedly distributed to Ige, Adesanya, and other faceless Yoruba leaders.  It is a surprise he did not list the serial numbers on the currency notes!


As we have come to expect from Al Mustapha, as during the Oputa panel when he said he had a video to shake the foundations of Nigeria that turned out to be an unconnected film documentary, all that he reportedly presented in court was an innocuous previously published footage of Ige and Adesanya emerging from a meeting in Aso Rock.   


Al Mustapha’s purportedly irrefutable evidence—the occasional smiles of the Aso Rock visitors—is the Yoruba saying which Adesanya volunteered at the press conference, that when brothers emerge from a closed door meeting, smiling, it is assumed they had done mischief. Adesanya and someone else smiled in the video therefore, according to Al Mustapha, they are guilty!  Julius Agu could not make it up.


While the issue of the manner of Abiola’s death is admittedly a lingering controversy, it is clear this conceited rabble-rouser is merely sticking two fingers up at the whole country, using the theatre of our law courts to revel in what is nothing but condemnable notoriety. 


For good measure, Al Mustapha proceeded to claim that Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Action Congress of Nigeria’s presidential candidate in the last election, is a hired assassin, seeking to murder him.  I suppose we can look forward to another incriminating video, perhaps of Mallam Ribadu eating his dinner with a fork and knife, to prove it!  
An increasing number of people now treat Al Mustapha’s shenanigans with deserving contempt, as they tell him to put up or shut up.  The amazing thing is that anyone still believes his rubbish.


This trial, entangled as it is in political complications and undertones, has attracted wide attention and endless commentary, but those, as Dr Frederick Fasheun of the Oodua People’s Congress, who allege an injustice because of its long period, need reminding that the unusual delay is mostly of Al Mustapha’s doing. 


Rather than articulate a reasonable legal defence of the charges, Al Mustapha and his lawyers embarked on a reckless campaign of frivolous suits, frequently bordering on abuse of process, including accusing one of the trial judges of taking bribes.  These trials within the trial, apparently to discredit the process and, allegedly, in expectation of an intervening political occurrence in the country, simply played into the hands of Obasanjo’s and Yar’Adua’s governments that, for good reasons, would just as sooner have Al Mustapha stew in his own juice.  It is actually a credit to the courts’ fairness to Al Mustapha that they allowed all those suits, frivolous or not, to conclude, before proceeding with the main trial.  Whatever people mean by asking pardon for someone who has not admitted to, nor been convicted, of a crime, is at best curious.


Al Mustapha’s behaviour in court, where he rails at judges and displays utter disrespect is, for a commissioned officer trained expectedly to be a respectable gentleman, a disappointment, just as his latest attempt to denigrate living and sully the memory of dead, Nigerians, is pathetic.   He is probably the only one that does not realise he is no longer in a position to hurt anyone, physically as he and his goons used to do, or morally as he thinks he now could.


Al Mustapha, who boasts that he was born into one of the five richest families in Nigeria, evidently enjoys soapbox grandstanding, forgetting that he is not contesting an election but defending a murder charge.  It is obvious also, from his posturing, that he considers himself a kind of national hero and role model.  I shudder to think that any of our youth would follow his example.


The analgesic period since Abacha’s death has soothed a lot of the pain of the atrocities of that regime.  While we must be careful not to diminish the fairness and transparency of his trial, there is a need to stop Al Mustapha from continuing to scratch old wounds needlessly open, in the way he has turned our courts into his personal theatre of farce.


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