Appeal Court slams Lagos Govt over handling of Al-Mustapha, Shofolahan case

By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE

The Court of Appeal in Lagos Monday expressed dissatisfaction over the Lagos State government’s approach towards the hearing of the appeal filed by the convicted Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and the Protocol Officer in the campaign organisation of late M.K.O Abiola, Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan, against the judgment of the trial court which sentenced them to death.

It will be recalled that Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos High Court, had passed the death sentence by hanging on both of them after they were arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy and murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola in 1996, along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.

But the appeal could not be heard today as counsel to the Lagos State Government, Mr Femi Adamson, informed the appellate court, presided over by Justice Chuma Nweze, that the respondent has an application for extension of time dated April 29, 2013, to enable the state government file its respondent’s brief of argument.

“Gentlemen, as you can see, it is not the fault of the court not to hear the appeal. Counsels should desist from the attitude of filing applications late in any case” Justice Nweze emphasised.

Adamson, who is Assistant Chief State Counsel in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, apologized for late filing of the said application and explained that it was due to hitches beyond his control.

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