The High court hearing handling the murder charge against Hamza El Mustapha, a former Chief Security Officer to former maxixmum ruler, Sani Abacha Thursday afternoon aired a video of some Yoruba leaders leaving state House, Abuja on July 6, 1998, a day after the death of the winner of the June 12, 1993 elections, MKO Abiola in detention.
The video was tendered by El Mustapha as part of his defence in his trial over the murder of Mr Abiola's wife, Kudirat.
However, even though he had stated he had video evidence to show Yoruba leaders were complicit in the death of Mr Abiola, yesterday's video, which he said he had recorded by ordinary camera because he could not use the CCTV, merely showed some of the leaders, including Abraham Adesanya, Bola Ige, Ayo Opadokun leaving the state house after a meeting with the then Military head of State, Abubakar Abdulsalami.
The southwest leaders meeting was also not hidden, as the video shows them meeting with reporters in the state house.
When asked by journalists what was the details of the talks they had with the head of state, Mr Adesanya, the then leader of Afenifere, replied that "no agreement that has been reached with the Head of state, other than that he will consider the proposal before him."
When asked about Mr Abiola's death, he said "I wouldnt know."
Asked about the call for a government of national unity and the actualisation of June 12 mandate, Mr Adesanya said "The GNU will still be there. It is only that it wont be Abiola that will head the GNU."
When asked if there would be any other replacement for the late Mr Abiola, he said "we are not proposing anybody yet."
Mr Adesanya then asked the reporters to disperse when asked about the time frame of their talk with the military administration.
The murder suspect, who said he had been relieved of his duties as CSO at the time, claimed Mr Abdulsalami seized the video of the arrival of the southwest leaders from him. He said the southwest leaders were hosted by Mr Abdulsalami and his National Security Adviser, Abdulai Mohammed.
He said he was concerned that Mr Mohammed later became chief of staff to Olusegun Obasanjo when he became president.
He also alleged that Mr Mohammed wrote letters to all ministries and heads of departments durin the oputa panel to give maximum co-operation to the panel and fight it all with el Mustapha's team at the panel.
El Mustapha later tendered a photocopy of the letter he wrote to Bola Ige in 2001, accusing the late Mr Ige of complicity in Abiola's 'murder.' The prosecution and defence later argued on whether the court should accept such evidence.
El-Mustapha said he was been persecuted for three reasons, including what he said was Mr Abdulsalami's refusal to abide by a sixteen point agenda he agreed with him and selling him to Mr Obsanjo as Abacha's boy. He also denied culpability in the murder of Mrs Abiola, saying the allegations are scripts by the government to get him out of the way.
Ribadu to kill me Al Mustapha also claimed that former anti-corruption tsar, Nuhu Ribadu, as the escort officer who brought himself and others to Lagos, had orders to kill him. "This is however averted by the then commissioner of police in lagos state, Mike okiro, who went into an argument with Ribadu that if there was such an order, there must be a letter from the president." The suspect noted that Mr Okiro was transferred out of Lagos immediately after the arrival of his group in Lagos. "That was why he was transferred out," he said
His counsel, Olalekan Ojo said el Mustapha is only able to come out with this detail because it was the first time the case is getting to defence state, in all the 13 years it has started. The case is subsequently adjourned till next week Monday.