Al-Mustapha seeks promotion to Major-General

Major Hamza Al- Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to late the Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, , has written the Army High Command, requesting for concessions on his position in the Army.
Sources in the Army told our correspondent that Al- Mustapha is seeking his accelerated promotion to the rank of a Major-General and his consequent retirement with his full benefits paid.

The argument had been that due to his “age on rank”, he should be retired as a Major from the Army but the former CSO is seeking a waiver on the grounds that he was unjustly incarcerated.

For the over 14 years that Al-Mustapha spent in prison, the Army high command had paid half of his monthly salary to his family.
While Al-Mustapha’s case has been presented to the Army council, the Legal Department is said to be studying the issue with a view to coming up with mutually acceptable recommendations.

Our correspondent learnt yesterday that Al- Mustapha’s lawyers were waiting the Army’s resolution of the issue with a view to either accepting it or approaching the law courts to get a fair deal for their client.
The Army Council is composed of the Minister of Defence, Permanent Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and some other administrative staff.

Director, Army Public Relations, Brig- Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, said that as a professional force, the Army had already looked into Al-Mustapha’s case and had forwarded his petition to the Army Council.
He also confirmed that the Legal Department was already handling the issue.

The former CSO wrote the Army requesting that his case be treated fairly and that he should be granted certain concessions.
Attahiru was, however, silent on the concessions being sought by Al-Mustapha.
“The Army, as an organisation looked into this matter and it has been presented to the Army Council – the highest body.

“But the specific departments handling the issue now are the Legal Department and another, which are looking into it and will come up with their submissions soon.
“Al-Mustapha wrote to the Army requesting for certain concessions but the Army is still looking at it and very soon, we shall take a position on the matter and it would be made public,” he said.

Attahiru said the Army has nothing to hide on the issue and that it will never deviate into partisan politics.
The Army had in July debunked speculations that Al-Mustapha had been promoted and decorated with a new rank of Brigadier- General, explaining that all administrative procedures are guided by extant rules and regulations such as the Armed Forces of Nigeria Harmonised Terms and Conditions among others.

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos, had on July 12 discharged and acquitted Al-Mustapha over an alleged conspiracy and the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, the wife of late MKO Abiola, on June 4, 1996.

Abiola won the 1993 presidential election, annulled by the military government of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
The court had upturned a death sentence handed down on him on January 30, 2013, by Justice Mojisola Dada, of a Lagos High Court.

Three days after his release, the Army had confirmed that Al-Mustapha was still in its fold and that his case would be handled administratively in line with the harmonised terms and conditions of service.
Already, the Lagos State Government had challenged the ruling before the Supreme Court.

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