Tell Al-Mustapha to shut up (2)

Continued from last Thursday…
Even more crucially, was the cold blooded and heartless murder of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, a defenceless woman. She was ruthlessly gunned down on a main road in Ikeja by trained marksmen who ambushed her car in broad daylight.

For the benefit of those who have become the victims of selective amnesia, these three crimes shared one common thread : The same cast of trained army marksmen in which Sergeant Rogers was a prominent member, later confessed to having been the hit men. In each case, their confessions were extensively corroborated by extensive evidence, including unchallenged sworn testimonies by some of those who participated in the planning and execution of these odious crimes.

These confessions were not only tendered before various law courts presided over by different magistrates and judges, but also formed part of the testimonies that the individuals in question gave before the Oputa Panel, which many Nigerians watched live on television as the hearings unfolded…

However, at the end of the day, the key witnesses at the Kudirat Abiola trial (including the infamous Sergeant Rogers) retracted their original sworn and freely given testimonies and resorted to peddling incredible tales about having been allegedly bribed to testify against the supposedly “innocent” Major Al Mustapha by shadowy individuals allegedly acting on behalf of the Lagos State government!
Following these wild allegations, the point at which tragedy mutates into farce was reached when three learned justices of the Appeal Court recently stood logic on its head by overturning the perfectly reasoned decision of a courageous and conscientious trial judge who pointedly rejected the belated fairy tales of the principal witnesses and quite rightly sentenced Al Mustapha and the main other accused suspect to death for their roles in masterminding the murder of Kudirat Abiola.
Curiously enough, however, at the end of the convoluted reasoning that was produced to justify the curious decision of the Appeal Court, Nigerians were asked to accept that this is how justice is supposed to function. But it has still not been made clear whether the said justice that functions this way is functioning in Nigeria or in the fabled wonderland inhabited by a story book character named Alice…
In the mean time, the 80 year old selfappointed part-time Yoruba crusader and full-time defender of Al Mustapha’s innocence has somehow been persuaded to allow several statements attributed to him to be published in which he faults the prosecution for utilising Sergeant Rogers as a crown witness. The same point has eagerly been seized upon by an astonishing variety of uninformed commentators, who have kept asking: Why should a self-confessed murderer who publicly admitted to having fired the gun that killed Kudirat Abiola been used as a witness instead of being tried for murder?

Well, just as ostriches have been known to deliberately bury their heads in the sand when they choose not to see certain things, those who have been asking this ridiculous question have chosen (or pretended to have chosen?) to be unaware that it is standard practice all over the world to use self-confessed junior accomplices as state witnesses in order to secure the conviction of the real brains behind the crimes in which they are involved.
Without the testimony of the minor criminals who actually pulled the triggers in murder cases or robbed banks on behalf of mafia chieftains, the criminal masterminds would never have been convicted in several spectacular trials that have taken place in recent decades in the US, Great Britain, France and Italy.

Are those who are denouncing the decision to employ Sergeant Rogers as a state witness saying that the prosecutors should have concentrated on securing the conviction of a lowly hitman and made no effort to go after the alleged masterminds of the gruesome murder, who allegedly gave the order to kill Kudirat, who supplied the weapons and who specifically organized the crime? Are all those who have been prancing about loudly questioning the decision to use Sergeant Roger’s evidence to nail down the actual masterminds of the crime actually acting in good faith?
One is left to ponder the question…
At the end of the day, what has become evident is that the Nigerian law enforcement agencies and judiciary have decided (for reasons best known to themselves!) to declare to the good people of Nigeria that NOBODY attempted to kill Pa Abraham Adesanya and Chief Alex Ibru, and that NOBODY killed Chief Bola Ige, Chief Alfred Rewane, Mr. Marshal Harry, Mrs. Kudirat Abiola and a host of others…
Fortunately, it is to the collective credit of Nigerians that we have so far elected to remain mature and calm. The forbearance and sense of responsibility that the people of Nigeria have chosen to manifest in the face of so much blatant injustice should, however, not lead anyone to take us for impotent fools.
There is no reason why Al Mustapha and his various surrogates should be allowed to continue rubbing salt into our wounds by parading triumphantly all over the place proclaiming his innocence.
Enough is enough!
Somebody should PLEASE tell Major Al-Mustapha to kindly shut up and leave the long suffering people of Nigeria in peace!
Dr. Balogun, a film maker, author and musician, wrote from Lagos

via national mirror

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