Posted by By Innocent Anaba on
THE federal government in an amended charge before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday accused Major Hamza Al-Mustapha former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha of allegedly funding one Lt. Tijani Abdallah’s trip to Togo and Ivory Coast for the purpose of acquiring the Stinger Missile, intended for shooting down President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Helicopter with the President on board.
LAGOS—THE federal government in an amended charge before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday accused Major Hamza Al-Mustapha former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha of allegedly funding one Lt. Tijani Abdallah’s trip to Togo and Ivory Coast for the purpose of acquiring the Stinger Missile, intended for shooting down President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Helicopter with the President on board.
Two others, Lt Col Mohammed Umar Adeka and Onwuchekwa Okorie were also charged alongside Mustapha. The charge stated that Lt. Col. Adeka, Okorie, and one Commander Yakubu Kudambo, now at large, jointly and severally visited Al-Mustapha at the Kirikiri Maximum prison several times for the purpose of conspiring to overthrow the federal government.
Defence counsel however, stalled the formal reading of the three counts charge to the accused persons. At the resumed hearing in the matter and shortly, after the first count had been read to the accused persons and their plea taken, counsel to Mustapha, Olalekun Ojo objected to the second count of the charge being read contending that the said second count did not disclose the particulars of the offence.
This stalled the formal reading of the charge to the accused persons to enable them make a plea. They had earlier pleaded not guilty to the first count.
Ojo contended that the said second count of the charge has no particulars of the offence and there was no proof of evidence to support the said count. He said there was nothing the accused persons will defend against in the said count. He argued further that what government wanted to do was hide under the said count to bring information the accused persons are not privy to later in the trial of the matter. He contended that if the said second count cannot stand being defective, it surely will affect the first and third counts which implies that the other counts cannot stand on their own and as such the entire charge should be struck out.
According to him, the prosecution cannot be talking of accused persons conspiring, when it (government) has predetermined the offence of treason against the accused persons.
Counsel to the other two accused persons aligned themselves with the argument of Ojo and urged the court to strike out the charge.
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