The Al-Mustapha story has continued to raise a lot of dust even as Nigerians ponder whether or not his claims have credence. In the wake of the evidences he recently tendered in court; a a memo Abubakar allegedly signed alongside the former National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Mohammed Abdullahi, to withdraw large sums of money in local and foreign currencies to settle some influential Nigerians with regards to Abiola’s lost mandate; a video tape recording of the meeting between the Yoruba leaders and former Head of State, General Abdusalami Abubakar as well as audio tape evidence and a letter he supposedly wrote to Chief Bola Ige telling him of the role he unconsciously played in Abiola’s murder.
So far, none of the evidences provided have proven the indictment of either the Late Chief Bola Ige or Pa Adesanya, they have however thrown light on the events that transpired around the period leading to and after Chief MKO Abiola’s death.
Yoruba leaders have admitted that there was indeed a meeting between them and the Former Head of State, they however stated that the meeting was between of the Head of State and the entire South region and that they did not collect a penny from anyone during or after the meeting. This stance is corroborated by Francis Okpozo, a South-South leader, who was part of the NADECO delegation that met Abdulsalami. He said that although provision was made by the former Head of State to give the delegation money, they rejected it. He also said that the meeting itself was common knowledge and that Pa Adesanya who led the delegation felt insulted when Abubakar had offered them bribe.
Adebanjo said that since Abdulsalami is still alive, he “should come out and tell Nigerians those he gave money to, or, better still, explain to Nigerians what they did with the money they withdrew from government coffers”
Speaking further on the consultation between Former Head of State Abubakar, Late Chief Bola Ige and Late Pa Adesanya after Abiola’s death, Okpozo said
He sent for us again, saying it was to discuss the way forward. We were very reluctant to discuss any issue other than the havoc he (Abubakar) and Abacha had caused the nation. He showed sympathy for the family of the late Abiola. He was not happy and asked us, in our opinion, what he should do.
“The late Chief Bola Ige got up and told him that we wanted Abiola alive and that if he was dead, Abubakar should go and put life in him and bring him out because the people wanted him alive. It was a tug of war”, he added.
“Pa Abraham Adesanya, who led the delegation, spoke in the same vein. After discussing to a certain level, we asked General Abubakar to give us chance and we went to a room separate from the venue of the meeting to discuss further. “He was appealing to us to make suggestions to him on the way forward and he would take it.”
According to him, the Yoruba leaders eventually agreed that Abubakar would step down in less than a year.
It is however important to mention that in Al-Mustapha’s testimony regarding the visit of the Yoruba leaders to Aso rock he said “When they arrived they appeared angry and refused to grant interview but when they were leaving their countenances and statements changed. It was no longer about June 12 and Abiola’s matter, it was now the issue of state security and the need for the country to forge ahead.”
The VHS video tape he tendered was played in court on Thursday and true to Al-Mustapha’s claim, the video tape played at the Lagos High Court Igbosere, at the resumed hearing in the murder case, showed late Afenifere leader, Chief Abraham Adesanya, late Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Late Chief Bola Ige and Mr Ayo Opadokun, former secretary of National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, and other South West leaders cheerful and smiling leaving the Presidential villa on July 8, a day after MKO Abiola’s death.