|Al-Mustapha and Ihagh
Former Chief Security Officer, CSO to late General Sanni Abacha, Major Hamzat Al Mustapha stormed Makurdi, Benue State capital yesterday in the company of his supporters, including the son of the late head of state, Mohammed Abacha.
Decked in cream safari brocade with cap to match, he drove in a convoy into the waiting hands of his host, retired Prison Controller, Mr Iorbee Ihagh around 1.45pm few meters away to the toll gate in Makurdi.
Mr. Ihagh who spoke to newsmen said that the visit of the former CSO was a thank you visit to the people of the state for saving his life while in Kirikiri prison.
Ihagh told newsmen that his friendship with Al Mustapha started while holding sway as the deputy controller of prison in charge of Kirikiri, explaining that the former CSO was to be arrested for planning coup but he (Ihagh) refused to release him to the military men who came for him.
|Al-Mustapha waves to the crowd
“This however earned me an arrest and I was detained for almost two years in Lagos cantonment. I was released then promoted controller general but thereafter I was retired from service,” he said.
The former controller of prison said the purpose Al Mustapha’s visit to the state was to thank the people of the state for saving his life.
As soon as Mustapha arrived Makurdi, he was driven straight to the residence of his host, where he echoed ‘I thank you my brother, I thank you for my life, I appreciate you’ even as he hugged the relatives and friends of the host who were introduced to him.
The visitors who came in a long convoy with tight security spent only ten minutes in his house and told Mustapha that they should proceed to Jato-Aka in Kwande local government area of the state where they were to meet the former Minister for Steel during Shagari regime, Wantaregh Paul Unongo.
Mr. Ihagh however denied any political undertone to the visit to Unongo, saying, ‘he is our leader in Tivland and I told him that we should pay him homage in his country home about four hours drive to the capital city.
However, all efforts to speak with Al Mustapha were rebuff turned down as he was only smiling to the newsmen who approached for a brief interview until they drove away to Jato-Aka.
Major Al Mustapha was recently released from prison by the Court of Appeal after spending 15 years over his alleged involvement in the death of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of late business Mongol and acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 general elections, Chief Moshood Abiola.
(Additional report: Courtesy of Ati Tekula).