Friday, 13 January 2017

Supreme Court grants Lagos permission to appeal Al-Mustapha’s release

The Supreme Court has granted permission to Lagos State to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which acquitted former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Gen. Sani Abacha, Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha.

Al-Mustapha and an aide to the late MKO Abiola, Lateef Sofolahan, were tried at the Lagos High Court for the murder of Kudirat Abiola on June 4, 1996.

The court convicted them in a January 2012 judgment and sentenced them to death for the murder.
They appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which, on July 12, 2013, discharged and acquitted them.

Ruling yesterday, a five-man panel of the court, led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, granted an application by the state government for leave to appeal out of time.

The court ordered Lagos to file its notice of appeal within 30 days from yesterday, following which a date would be set for hearing.

The ruling was given after lawyer to Al-Mustapha, Joseph Daudu (SAN), withdrew his earlier objection to the application.

Daudu, in his objection, urged the court to refuse the application on the grounds that the state did not place sufficient materials before the court to justify why it failed to appeal within time.

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