Thursday, 8 October 2015

Al-Mustapha Forced Into Retirement By Nigerian Army

Al-Mustapha Forced Into Retirement By Nigerian Army
Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former chief security officer to the late General Sani Abacha has been compulsorily retired from the Nigerian army.

According to The Punch, his compulsory retirement arose from his unavailability in the army for a period of over 14 years while he was away to face trial over the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola.

The letter sighted by The Punch from the Army Headquarters on Wednesday, October 7, puts the period Al-Mustapha was in the army at 33 years and 11 days.

The letter reads in part: “You are authorised to retain your substantive rank of Major. You are also entitled to gratuity and pension as well as Certificate of Military Service and Retired Officers’ Identity Card.

“You are entitled to your ceremonial dress, service dress and mess kit. However, you should wear uniforms corresponding to your rank at the time of retirement only when you are invited for military ceremonies; military weddings; memorial services of National Day celebration and Regimental dinners.”

Following the death of Gen. Abacha’s on June 8, 1998, the former chief security officer was arrested in October that same year for the murder of Kudirat Abiola, an offence for which he was tried for 14 years.

Consequently he was sentenced to death for the murder of Kudirat by a Lagos High Court in Igbosere on January 30, 2012, but was discharged and acquitted on July 12, 2013 by a superior judgment of by the Court of Appeal in Lagos.

The Army council took the the decision to force him out of service at its meeting held on August 5, 2013, more than a year after the Court of Appeal acquitted him.