A Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere today convicted Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the Former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State General Sani Abacha and Lateef Shofolahan over the murder of Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola.
The accused persons have been sentenced to death by hanging.
Mrs Abiola’s Murder case is adjudged to be the longest criminal trials ever experienced in the nation’s history, lasting more than 12 years with five successive judges during which time the accused persons were held in detention.
This time in prison calendar is equivalent to 20 years.
The prosecution led by Lawal Pedro had accused Al-Mustapha of ordering Sergeant Barnabas Jabila (Sgt. Rogers), who was then a member of both the Strike Force and Body Guards – military units within the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, to kill Mrs Abiola.
The wife of the eminent Businessman and politician was shot dead on June 4, 1996 along the Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway, Lagos toll gate, opposite Cargo Vision, Ikeja in Lagos.
The prosecution also accused Mr Shofolahan, who was said to be Kudirat’s Protocol Officer, to have revealed the deceased’s itinerary to her assailants.
According to the prosecution, Mohammed Abdulof was alleged to have driven the car Jabila and Sholohan used to trail and killed Mrs Abiola.
Mr Shofolahan, however, denied that he ever worked for Kudirat in any capacity throughout her lifetime.
The prosecuting lawyers in their 34-page final written address, at the close of the trial on November 10, 2011, urged the court to convict the two accused persons as charged.
However, Al-Mustapha’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, in his 112-page written address, said the prosecution’s evidence was not supported by law.
He urged the court to acquit and discharge his clients.