Former Chief Security Officer to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, Maj. Hamza al-Mustapha, has been compulsorily retired from the Army.
His compulsory retirement, according to a military source, was due to his absence in the Army for a period of over 14 years, while he was away to face the trial over the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, a wife of the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
On Wednesday, Punch sighted a copy of the retirement letter sent to Al-Mustapha from the Army Headquarters which stated that the Army Council took the decision to force him out of service at its meeting held on August 5, 2013, more than a year after the Court of Appeal acquitted him.
The retirement letter had the date of July 14, 2014 and it put the period the former Head of State’s CSO was in the army at 33 years and 11 days.
According to the letter, the reason for his compulsory retirement was, “undeployability arising from restructuring and/or lack of establishment,”.
However, the letter commended him for demonstrating “good conduct in the discharge of your duties” throughout his service in the army.
The letter partly read:“You are authorised to retain your substantive rank of Major. You are also entitled to gratuity and pension as well as Certificate of Military Service and Retired Officers’ Identity Card.
“You are entitled to your ceremonial dress, service dress and mess kit. However, you should wear uniforms corresponding to your rank at the time of retirement only when you are invited for military ceremonies; military weddings; memorial services of National Day celebration and Regimental dinners.”
Following Abacha’s death on June 8, 1998, Al-Mustapha was arrested in October of the same year for the murder of Kudirat, he was subsequently sentenced to death for Kudirat’s murder by a Lagos High Court in Igbosere on January 30, 2012, but was released and acquitted on July 12, 2013 by a superior judgment of the Court of Appeal in Lagos.