The release of Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha , Chief Security Officer to Nigeria’s former military ruler, the late General Sani Abacha has been met with mixed if not cautious reactions from online commentators.
The death sentence passed for the murder of Kudirat Abiola on the former CSO and Lateef Sofolahan, a Police Officer and former Personal Assistant to the deceased by a Lagos State High Court was overturned by the Court of Appeal on Friday.
The duo had been in incarceration for about 14 years.
Nigerian online have been anything but unanimous in their response to the news with some welcoming it as a positive development and others condemning it as a complete miscarriage of justice.
Other online commentators while welcoming the news couldn’t help but wonder who the real perpetrators of the heinous crime were, ”… I agree to an extent (to his release), but who are the culprits . . . .” One retorted.
Some of the commentators agree with the position taken by the Court of Appeal that the presiding lower court judge was under pressure from politicians to pass a guilty verdict with some going to the extent of pointing accusing fingers at former Heads of States.
Other commentators cynically suggest that the released major would definitely be a gubernatorial aspirant during the next general elections in 2015. “Good for him, enough troubles have circled round his head already. I won’t be surprised seeing him at the polls contesting for the governorship position of his state come 2015.” The online commentator remarked.
Meanwhile the Court of Appeal has released the full judgement delivered on Friday. In the judgement the Justices identified several aspects of the case, which they considered as fatal to the prosecution’s case. The one considered as the singular major flaw to the prosecution’s case was the prosecution’s inability to present the bullet extracted from the deceased’s body as evidence during the trial at the lower court.