From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the administration of General Sani Abacha, Lt. General Jeremiah Useni, has said that Major Hamza Al-Mustapha should be compensated for being incarcerated for 14 years.
This is even as the former Chief of General Staff in the same administration, Lt. General Oladipo Diya, who spoke with our correspondent from United Kingdom base, said he had no option other than to submit to the decision of the Court of Appeal.
Speaking on the Appeal Court ruling which absolved Al-Mustapha of any guilt in the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, Useni said: “The judgment is good. For keeping him under lock and key for 14 years, I think people should be happy that he has gained his freedom in the end. So, I am happy and commend the courage of the Court of Appeal for the action it has taken. I congratulate Major Mustapha for his freedom.”
On what the judgment portends for the nation, Useni said it was just, saying that no matter how long one had been in incarceration, one day the person must regain freedom.
Useni stated: “Once you believe in God and trust Him, you will one day regain freedom. Some people it might be one month and they are discharged. How can you account for the 14 years you have put this chap under lock and key? So, apart from being discharged, he should even be compensated for all those years lost.”
Useni however called on the judiciary to ensure that it looked at every case in detail before passing judgment.
Also speaking with our correspondent, Diya said: “I haven’t seen the details and the content of the learned judges’ submission. There is no way anyone can feel about it. It is the judgment of the court and we all subject ourselves to the rule of law. So, we have no choice but to accept the judgment of the court,” Diya stated.