Strange Things Have Happened In Nigeria

by Abiodun Ladepo

After his evidence-in-chief, he was then cross examined by Mr. Femi Falana.

Falana: You said you were not retired, you were not posted and yet you have been on salaries. Since when have you been receiving salary without rendering services to this station?

Zadok: Since August 1 1998 on the day the personal assistant the former Inspector General of Police Superintendent Udi informed me in the villa that two officers from force CID Lagos were in the villa and that I should submit their names at the gate for them to see my OC. I submitted their names. When they entered, they told us they were taking over from us, without any written letter. I did not know that Major Aliu was aware of it. We were moved out of the villa without any document. Since August 1 1998 I have not worked in any police formation.

Falana: Were you close to Abiola in detention?

Zadok: Yes I was close to him.

Falana: What ailment did Abiola complained to your about?

Zadok: He complained of his high blood pressure.

Falana: You said on June 8 1998 your bodyguards were withdrawn and soldiers took over the protection of Abiola.

Zadok: Yes.

Falana: Did he write letters that you knew of while in detention?

Zadok: Yes, he wrote condolence letters to Mrs. Yar’Adua when General Yar’Adua died. Also when General Abacha died, he wrote condolence letter to Mrs. Abacha to be forwarded to General Abdulsalami Abubakar for vetting as he said two heads are better than one.

Falana: Do you know the contents of the letter?

Zadok: No, the letters were always sealed.

Falana: Is Major A.S. Aliu still in the army?

Zadok: Yes.

Falana: Were you with him when Commonwealth Sec. Gen. Emeka Anyaoku held a meeting with him?

Zadok: Yes I was there. They all took photograph together.

Falana: Had this ever happened before?

Zadok: No, it never happened before during his detention.

Falana: the photograph was to let everybody know that he was hale and hearty.

Zadok: Yes.

Falana: Was it to your knowledge that a foreigner was allowed to give food or drink to a detainee in Nigeria? (

Zadok: To the best of my knowledge no foreigner had ever done this.

It was my duty to taste any food or drink before giving it to Abiola.

Falana: When Abiola was given tea to drink was the first time you never tasted anything given to Abiola to take?

Zadok: Yes it was the first time.

Falana: You normally tasted food or drink before you gave it to Abiola to prevent any harm done to your subject?

Zadok: Yes.

Falana: So, you were tricked to go and see Admiral Akhigbe?

Zadok: Maybe.

Falana: When you left Abiola with Major A.S. Aliu, you were confident that you were leaving him in the care of a competent person.

Zadok: Yes.

Falana: After his death what happened to his property he left in detention?

Zadok: I have a copy of the list of his property. I handed over his property to Ambassador Baba Gana Kingigbe who immediately called Abiola’s family to inform them that Abiola’s property were with him and they should come for them.

Falana: US official Dickering later addressed a press conference to say Abiola died of national cause.

Zadok: Yes.

Falana: Brig-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo said the day Abacha died, Bamaiyi said Abiola must also be killed is a similar way to balance equation.

Zadok: Yes, I heard it.

He was asked why he did not inquire from Major Aliu who gave tea to Abiola and he replied, “Major Aliu was the overall security office in charge of Abiola’s detention. I did not have the gut to ask him. Who gave Abiola tea and whether it was tasted before giving it to him.

“Chief Abiola need to keep photocopies of his letters in his Bible and Koran. I did not have the time to go through them. But if the commission requests for them it will assist this commission greatly.

At the end of Zadok’s testimony, Mr. Falana requested the commission to order the IG to give full protection to Zadok.

Gen Sabo also testified yesterday in respect of Chief Abiola’s death.

Led by his counsel, Mr. Umar Shinthien, Brigadier-General Ibrahim Sabo’s evidence ran thus:

Shinttien: Brigadier-General Sabo, you told this commission in Lagos that apart from what you said then on Chief Abiola’s death, you have more to say.

Sabo: Yes I still have a lot more facts on Abiola’s death. I will also tender some documents here before this commission, while I will take the rest documents to Akanbi’s anti-corruption commission.

Shinttien: Tell this commission other facts you know.

Sabo: I said earlier that on June 8 1998 many things happened from the sublime to the ridiculous. The sublime has to do with the death of former head of state, General Sani Abacha while the ridiculous was on the threat to Abiola’s life. I said in Lagos that General Ishaya Bamaiyi called me after General Abacha called me after General Abacha death and asked me where was Chief Abiola, I said I didn’t know, that Major Al-Mustapha was the one keeping him. General Bamaiyi then told me don’t you think that now that General Abacha is dead, Chief Abiola should be similarly killed to balance the equation? I looked for Major Mustapha and told him what Bamaiyi has said. I later learnt that Bamaiyi had told Mustapha the same thing because Mustapha told me he had been looking for me for the same purpose.

Major Mustapha in his evidence gave certain indicators on how General Abacha died and how Chief Abiola died. He said Abacha choked, jerked and foamed before he died Abiola also choked, jerked, foamed and died. Since Bamaiyi used the word similarly, I think Abacha’s family should be interested in this because both died the same way.

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1 comment December 17, 2008 - 6:19 pm

The testimonies about General Abubakar Abdulsalami sadden. Comparatively, Abubakar was dangerous leader to Abacha if testimonies are truth. Very chilly indeed! Major Al Mustapha is not reliable for Abiola’s ceased, and he must be release. Abubakar must be hold responsible. The trouble with this bias world’s that, the cruel are let loose while the innocent are held responsible. An eye opener!


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