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Ex-Abacha’s CSO, Al-Mustapha, Denies Looting Nigeria’s Treasury

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Hamza Al-Mustapha, the presidential candidate of Action Alliance (AA) and former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late military head of state, Sani Abacha, has denied ever stealing from Nigeria’s coffers while in office.

Mr Mustapha, a retired major, said this in an interview with Channels Television on Tuesday.

He said his enemies, whom he did not name, were responsible for his 15 years of travails because they were hellbent on looting the country’s resources.

The ex-CSO is notorious for his controversial role in the demise of Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.

Before his death, Mr Abiola was kept in an unpleasant prison condition, supervised by Mr Al-mustapha.

Apart from the role he played in Mr Abiola’s incarceration, he was also alleged to be involved in drug trafficking, and money laundering, among other heinous crimes.

His principal, Mr Abacha, who died in office on 8 June 1998, looted the nation’s treasury and some of the funds are still being repatriated from the countries they were lodged.

BBC, in a recent report based on data gathered from the federal government, World Bank, and Transparency International, put the total amount recovered from Mr Abacha in the past 24 years at $3.65 billion.

In August, the federal government entered into a fresh agreement with the government of the United States of America for the repatriation of a total sum of $23, 439,724 trillion allegedly looted by the late former military dictator.

In his defence on Tuesday, Mr Al-Mustapha said his innocence in the death of Mr Abiola and other allegations has been proven before 14 judges in the last 15 years.

Stating that he was a victim of media propaganda, the AA presidential hopeful said he never stole money from the government’s coffers.

He said he dared both the Abdulsalam Abubakar and Olusegun Obasanjo’s governments to indict him if they found him guilty of any financial crimes in the past.

“I don’t have money, I have never stolen N10. I challenged two governments; I challenged Abdulsalam Abubakar’s government, and I challenged (Olusegun) Obasanjo’s government. They searched.

“I was ransacked by bigger international investigative agencies (and the) police. My eyes and thumbprint were taken all around the whole world and they saw nothing. But rather than tell the whole world my clean record, they kept it aside,” he said.

Mr Al-Mustapha added: “II suffered from propaganda for 15 years with torture trying to just give me a bad name, just for me not to survive. In 2019, that was when we discovered that there were 18 attempts to kill me. As of 2013 when I came out, I was aware of 11 attempts.

“In 15 years, a serving military officer being treated like an animal every day, in chains, hands, legs and neck. I was in solitary detention for five years, and two months. My parents were only allowed to see me only twice in 15 years.”

The retired military officer stated that people were sponsoring legal wars against him because of what he knows and his refusal to compromise.

The retired military officer stated that people were sponsoring legal wars against him because of what he knows and his refusal to compromise.

In his campaign promises after emerging as the AA candidate, Mr Al-Mustapha said his loyalty to Nigeria was one of the reasons for running for the seat.

On his plans to tackle terrorism in Nigeria, he has also promised to relocate to Sambisa forest if elected.

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