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Lagos appeal against Al-Mustapha suffers setback as S’Court Justice withdraws

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Lagos gets S/Court nod to retry Al-Mustapha for murder of late Abiola's wife, Kudirat

A member of the Supreme Court panel for the hearing of the appeal filed by the Lagos State Government against the acquittal of a former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, has withdrawn.

The judge, Justice Centus Chima Nweze, predicated his withdrawal on the fact that he had presided over Al-Mustapha’s case at the Court of Appeal while he was serving at the appellate court before his elevation to the Supreme Court.

Justice Nweze announced his withdrawal on Thursday when the case came up.

According to him, he had participated in the hearing of the appeal by al-Mustapha at the Court of Appeal, Lagos division and that he, at some point, presided over the hearing of the case at the appeal court before another panel of the same court took over.

Read also: S’Court Chief Registrar, 2 others docked for allegedly stealing N2.2bn

Ruling on Justice Nweze’s withdrawal, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, who presided over proceedings, said in view of the information by Justice Nweze, he would be excluded from the case forthwith.

The case was adjourned till January 12 for continuation.

It would be recalled that Al-Mustapha, alongside others, were arraigned before a Lagos State High Court for the murder of the wife of Chief MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola and were subsequently sentenced to death.

However, an appeal by the former CSO was allowed by the Court of Appeal which discharged and acquitted him.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews…

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