Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to former Head of State, late General Sani Abacha, on Saturday, while field questions from journalists in Ibadan, revealed that he was held in prison for 15 years because of a secret tape on the death of Chief MKO Abiola.
He stated this after he delivered the third South-West Annual Lecture entitled: ‘Developing Leadership Abilities in Youths’, organized by the Asorodayo Youth Heritage Organisation at Lafia Hotel in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
According to reports for years, it is widely believed that Al-Mustapha has been on detention for these years because of the death of the wife of MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola.
He noted the something happened which a camera in the Presidential Villa captured and those who ruled Nigeria at that time wanted to destroy the video. That was the beginning of his travails, he stated.
“On October 21, 1998, I was arrested because of a video cassette, not because of the late Kudirat Abiola. The family of the late Abiola was, as it is, a very close family to me. But something happened, which a particular camera in the villa captured.
“So, they wanted to take the video tape and burn it so that Nigerians will not know what happened. That was the beginning of my travails.”
“Many people, particularly lawyers, took money from those who were looking for the cassette, who ruled Nigeria. They would go to radio and television station to rain abuses on me, rather than coming to court because they were paid to do so. But they did not know what was going on in the court of law.
“I appeared before 14 judges in Lagos. As soon as the matter is about to finish, they would stop it and take us to another court. For 15 years, I was in that state. Out of the 15 years, five years and two months I served in detention with torture. The remaining was between Ikoyi Prisons, Kirikiri Prisons and Jos Prisons.”
“On the late Kudirat Abiola, Rogers himself got to confess in a court of law along with other witness of how much money they were given, who among the big men in Nigeria told them what to say against me. Then, they were busy writing in newspapers. In Nigeria, it is what the newspapers write that radio and television will talk. All other things are buried, and that is what people in the town will talk.
“For 15 years, I hadn’t the chance to defend myself in newspaper, radio and television. So, the belief was Al-Mustapha has committed an offence, even before my arrest. But the actual thing is what happened to the late MKO Abiola that is in that cassette, that they want to see, that is why Mustapha was subjected to punishment and I was called names.”
“They want to know the whereabouts of that tape in the last 17 years. Rogers confessed he was told to do so. He was given money. He was given a house. He was given car every six month, and he was promised to be taken outside Nigeria,” he stated.
“The plan was as soon as Lagos court pronounced me guilty and to be hanged, they would rush me to prison and hang me without giving me the option to go for appeal. That was what happened. Then, they revealed exactly what happened and many people got to know.
“Unfortunately, there are lawyers who used to collect money and go to television houses and call me names. But they didn’t know what happened in the court of law.”
Thanking God that, everything that happened in Lagos State Court was compiled and signed by all the 14 judges, Al-Mustapha argued that, “We are putting it together.”
“My father has already put the book together in three volumes. You will see them soon and know that ‘mumu of this country don do.”
“If I am guilty, there is no way I can talk, there is no way I can get the confidence to look into their eyes because they are the bigger ones above the law in Nigeria”, Al-Mustapha noted, saying ,“I am doing so. I have done it yesterday, I am doing it now and I will do it tomorrow. If I am dishonest, I can’t do that.”
“So, let us get to know the story right and understand the game. The game is for people to pronounce Al-Mustapha guilty. I thank God, those that entered the contract with inducement not to say what they should say in the court of law; later on when the game was exposed, they came to the court, crying and exposing what happened.
“That is why the matter is before the Supreme Court now for appeal. We are begging them since 2013 for the matter to be heard so that everybody can hear what happened. Up till now, Lagos State Government ran away from it. We are begging them to come to the matter. We have nothing to hide. My teaching is that if I am wrong, I will tell you. If I am right, I will tell you”.