Former National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and Afenifere Secretary Mr. Ayo Opadokun yesterday denied receiving bribe from former military Head of Sate Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar to maintain a sealed lip over the death of Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
He was reacting to the allegation by the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, that he and some Yoruba leaders were bribed, following the controversial death of the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Opadokun, who spoke with The Nation on phone, described Mustapha as a pathological liar, urging Nigerians to ignore his falsehood.
He said: “Mustapha is a pathological liar seeking for attention. Sensible people should ignore people with low self-esteem and character. Two years ago, when he was being tried for the murder of Kudirat Abiola, he made a false allegation against NADECO leaders that when we were invited by Abdulsalami Abubakar, that we were angry when we entered the office and laughing when we came out.
“I confronted him. He recounted that we did not collect money. He is seeking for attention to make himself relevant. Where were Yoruba leaders bribed to keep silent? What denominations were used to bribe them? Where was he? He is a charlatan.
“As soon as his boss died, because of his insolent conduct against his superiors, he was deployed to Enugu and his lieutenants were also deployed out of Aso Rock. So, how did Mustapha know what was happening? He should be ignored.
“I was in Ikoyi prison when Abiola died. It was five days after my release that we visited the former military Head of State. Yoruba leaders fought for June 12 and the revalidation of the annulled mandate. Mustapha was a wicked instrument for tormenting Abiola. One day, he will have to account for his deeds.”
Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Head of State Gen. Sani Abacha, has alleged that some Yoruba leaders, led by Chief Ayo Opadokun, knew those who killed the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
Al-Mustapha was remanded in prison for 14 years in connection with the mysterious death of Abiola and his wife, Mrs. Kudirat Abiola.
Speaking with reporters in Kaduna yesterday, after a meeting to broker peace between the North and Southeast, he alleged that the Yoruba leaders received bribe in dollars from the killers of MKO.
He claimed that Opadokun led others to the Villa to meet Abiola’s killers, but came out laughing after receiving dollars, just a day after MKO was killed.
Al-Mustapha, who claimed to have videotaped how Opadokun and others collected the bribe, said he had since submitted a copy to a Lagos High Court, presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada.
According to Al-Mustapha, “Chief Opadokun is someone I respect so much as an elder. But what came out in the newspaper was his own imagination and falsehood against me. If you know my character, you will know that I will not be scared to say the truth. It does not matter who and it does not matter where; but you will later realise that I told you the truth. I initially didn’t want to reply him, but now that you have asked, I will tell you what happened.
“When Abiola died, a day after, he (Opadokun) was invited to the Presidency and he came to the Villa alongside his friends. He came with anger into the Villa.
“Those who killed Abiola invited him to the Villa. At that material time, they came to fight the government; they wanted to set the country ablaze, considering the tone they came with. They went into the meeting, they came out laughing, yelling and gearing as if nothing happened in the country.
“A day after Abiola’s death, if you remember, the country was on the verge of collapse. But seeing what was going on and the things around Abiola led me to suspect them. I had not handed over the Villa to Abdulsalami Abubakar’s government then. So, I decided to videotape what they were doing and I have the tape and I have tendered the tape before a court of law, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court.
“In that tape, money exchanged hands and they traded with Abiola and that is my anger. The tape is in that court. Anybody that wants to watch it can get it and watch. It is now a public document. I didn’t want to talk about it before, but money was brought from the Central Bank (CBN) in my presence and it was shared.
“So, if I talk about Abiola’s well-being and safety, and that of his family, I am telling Nigerians what really happened. Why should a person from the same Southwest, who is supposed to protect Abiola’s interest, now be seen to be angry with me? He should be happy with me for saying the fact, so that it will not happen again in Nigeria.
“Now, they have forgotten about Abiola but the moment I talk, they will come on the pages of newspapers and start insulting me. I didn’t want to respond to them, but since you have asked, I have to say this. All they have done is that they took money and the moment you talk about Abiola, you become their enemies and they will abuse you in the papers. That is what they are doing to me; but I don’t care.
“In Yoruba land where culture is the watchword, the late MKO Abiola was the last Aare Ona Kakanfo and for a Yoruba man of Opadokun’s standing, going against Aare Ona Kakanfo, what is that thing? I tell you, it is dollars. Thank you very much, I will speak more on this much later God’s willing,” said Al-Mustapha.