Tell Al-Mustapha to shut up

In general, most citizens of Nigeria are peace-loving and law-abiding. Although we actually know better, for the sake of peace most of us have accepted that we are genuinely being protected by the laws of the land.

For better or for worse, we have accepted that we are not supposed to take the laws into our own hands, and that where crimes have been committed that affect our lives and interests, the right thing to do is to wait for the law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to step in, investigate, apprehend the law breakers and punish them appropriately…
That we have such lofty and possibly misplaced expectations does not, however, mean that we are fools, and that we should be taken for a ride by those who are supposed to protect us and ensure that justice is meted out in appropriate cases.
Without doubt, it is an open secret today that a series of sinister events have cumulatively piled up to shake whatever faith most of us have about living in a supposedly orderly society in which the administration of justice is to be left in the hands of the government, the law enforcement agencies and the judiciary. 
Matters have now reached a point where there is no alternative but to conclude that somebody, somewhere, is making fun of us..
. Manifestly, the Nigerian version of justice is not simply the proverbial blindfolded lady depicted in front of court buildings all over the world, but a wicked, blind, dumb and willfully deaf evil step mother!
The recent rigmarole that has culminated in the discharge and acquittal of Major Hamza Al Mustapha of the charge of having masterminded the brutal killing of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola can probably be best described as a deliberate affront to all notions of common sense and reasoned analysis.

The most astonishing aspect of this revolting episode in our national history is that the central figure in the whole affair has suddenly been transformed before our very eyes from a supposed villain to an innocent victim and folk hero who has allegedly been unjustly and illegally detained for 14 years as a result of the machinations of the Yoruba ethnic group as a whole….
If the media are to be believed, Major al Mustapha has reportedly received a hero’s welcome in Kano and Yobe states, with some high ranking local authorities playing to the gallery by presiding over tumultuous public receptions during which Alodious persecution by unnamed foes.

Most astonishingly, our villain turned hero has in the process acquired an 80 year old spokesman/bodyguard/overnight arrangee foster father of Yoruba extraction who claims to be protecting some ill-defined Yoruba interests by taking the side of the alleged murderer of a Yoruba lady, going so far as to actually rejoice with him at the current turn of events!
However, no matter what the voluntarily blind and deaf (but apparently not dumb!) justices of the Appeal Court may have decided in their infinite wisdom, many questions remain unanswered:

First of all, what are the facts that lie behind the protracted legal skirmishes that culminated in the incarceration of Al- Mustapha and the main other accused suspect for all of 14 years? Could anyone have forgotten so soon that this peculiar situation arose because the highly paid legal counsel retained by Al-Mustapha and his fellow accused successfully employed all manner of legal challenges and procedural ruses to ensure that the case kept being postponed and started all over again, year after year for 14 whole years?

And why should Al Mustapha and his new found advocate/bodyguard/arrangee foster father now turn round to mock all rightthinking Nigerian citizens by claiming that the long delay in delivering judgement was the result of a deliberate decision by the Lagos State government to keep Al Mustapha and his co-accused unjustly in detention?
Another question for all to ponder: Is Hamza Al Mustapha the only soldier to have served under the orders of General Sani Abachi, the reclusive dictator who presided over one of the most oppressive governments in the history of our nation? Isn’t it curious that Al Mustapha’s name (and Al Mustapha’s name only!) keeps popping up like a recurrent decimal in several different cases of murder or attempted murder that took place during the infamous reign of General Abacha?
For those with a short memory, let us recall a few of the most spectacular of these murder cases:
Among those crimes with which Al Mustapha’s name has allegedly been persistently mentioned, there was the murder of Chief Alfred Rewane, for which the subsequent police investigation was transformed into a Charlie Chaplinesque comedy that amused no one…
However, it was widely whispered in informed circles that a certain former state governor was not unconnected with the murder, and that the said former governor was allegedly believed to have been one of Al Mustapha’s henchmen at the time…
Then there was the attempted assassination of late Pa Adesanya around Sandgrouse market in central Lagos. There was also the attempted murder of late Chief Alex Ibru, the publisher of the ‘Guardian’ newspaper in an ambush between the Ikoyi and Victoria Island districts of Lagos. The quick thinking of his driver saved him.
To be continued
Dr. Balogun, a film maker, author and musician, wrote from Lagos

 via national mirror
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