With the acquittal and release of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan over the murder of Kudirat Abiola, the Lagos State Government must again prosecute Barnabas Jabila a.k.a. Sergeant Rogers who admitted killing the deceased, activists said on Thursday.
“He never denied shooting Kudirat Abiola. Why can’t Lagos State Government go after him being the prime suspect? Or have we probably seen the end to another high profile murder?” queried Comrade Debo Adeniran, Chairman Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL.
CACOL said beyond accusations of political interference, bribery and corruption, the prosecution and investigation teams were completely inefficient before and during the trial.
“It is a case of procedural and tactical failure,” Adeniran said.
“Why were the bullets extracted and recovered from the body of the victim not presented to the court if only to prove the source of the weapon used in the act?” he asked.
Adeniran said the investigation and prosecution of Abiola’s killers has once again revealed that there are serious problems of manpower and up-to-date equipment for investigation in the country’s justice system.
“As long as this trend persists, so long will this trend of unsolved crimes continue,” Adeniran said.
Adeniran, who addressed journalists in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, recalled that the Appeal Court in its pronouncement picked a lot of holes in the process of investigating and prosecuting the accused.
The Appeal Court noted apparent contradictions in the confessions of the prosecution’s star witness and lashed out at the lower court for hastily convicting the accused, Adeniran said.
Adeniran said he suspects the prosecution team was not sound enough and a deal it struck with the star witness came crumbling with the latter contradicting himself. That discredited his testimony, he said.
Adeniran said Sergeant Rogers must be re-arrested and prosecuted to punish the killers of Kudirat and unravel the mystery behind the assassination.
He said he was surprised that some people are describing Al-Mustapha as a hero.
“To me, he is not a hero,” he said.