The authorities of the Nigerian Army have denied speculation that the former Chief Security Officer to Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, is to be decorated with the rank of Brig.-Gen on Wednesday (today).
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.- Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, in a statement on Tuesday, described the Internet publication as erroneous.
The Court of Appeal on Friday acquitted Al-Mustapha over the killing of the wife of business mogul, MKO Abiola, Kudirat.
Attahiru said, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to an erroneous publication being circulated on the Internet about the decoration of the former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Al-Mustapha with the rank of Brigadier-General following his recent acquittal by the court.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to advise the media to always cross check facts before going to the press to avoid misinformation, misrepresentation, and sensationalism in its reportage.”
Meanwhile, a former Information Minister, Chief Edwin Clark, has applauded the acquittal of Al-Mustapha by the court.
Clark, in a statement on Tuesday, said there was a need for the review of the criminal administration law in the country.
Clark, a lawyer, said it amounted to injustice and gross abuse of natural and human rights to keep Al-Mustapha as well as other inmates for a longer period than the time that the sanction for their charge would have been in event of return of guilty verdict.
Former Provost-Marshal, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Idada Ikponmwen (retd.), on Tuesday also said the protracted trial of Al-Mustapha revealed the serious defect in the country’s judicial system.
Speaking in Benin, Edo State, Idada described Al-Mustapha’s acquittal as victory for the rule of law.
He, however, said the former CSO got his “legal victory due to failure of the prosecution to proof its allegation.”