The Lagos division of the Court of Appeal sitting in Igbosere, Lagos Island, will today, Monday, hear the appeal filed by Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha, Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, and Lateef Shofolahan, an aide to late business man and the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, MKO Abiola, over a death sentence passed on them by Justice Mojisola Dada.
It would be recalled that Justice Dada of the Lagos High Court had on January 30, 2012 convicted and accordingly sentenced the duo “to death by hanging until they are confirmed dead”.
The appellate court, presided over by Justice C.C Nweze had fixed Monday for the hearing of the appeal, after counsel representing both convicts had applied for a regularisation of their briefs of argument.
Lawyer to both appellants, Joseph Daudu and Olalekan Ojo, moving in terms of their motion paper, had both applied for leave to file their appellants brief of arguments and serve same on the respondent, the Lagos State Government.
Both convicts were arraigned in October 1999, on a four-count charge of “conspiracy and murder of Kudirat Abiola on June 4, 1996 along the Lagos/ Ibadan Expressway”.
In their brief of arguments, the appellants submit that the death sentence passed on them was unwarranted.
The duo further argued that the trial court erred in law when it arrived at the conclusion that they conspired to kill Kudirat on June 4, 1996. Messrs Al-mustapha and Shofolahan are therefore urging the appellate court to entertain their appeal, set aside the judgement, and discharge and acquit them accordingly.
Mr Al-Mustapha’s appeal was premised on four grounds, while that of Mr Shofolahan was hinged on five grounds.