We have not given up on Al-Mustapha’s case –La­gos govt

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Femi Aki­nola, La­gos

La­gos State Com­mis­sioner for Jus­tice and At­tor­ney-Gen­eral, Ade Ipaiye, has said that the state govern­ment is still pur­su­ing an ap­peal against the rul­ing of the Court of Ap­peal that granted free­dom to Ma­jor Hamza Al-Mustapha.

Ma­jor Al-Mustapha, who was sen­tenced to death by a La­gos High Court, but granted free­dom by an Ap­peal Court, was ac­cused of or­der­ing a se­cu­rity agent to kill the wife of Mos­hood Abi­ola.

Speak­ing yes­ter­day, the state At­tor­ney-Gen­eral de­bunked re­ports that the state govern­ment has backed down on the ap­peal.

“The state’s in­ten­tion to ap­peal the judge­ment that freed Al-Mustapha is still sub­sist­ing. What the Ap­peal Court re­quires from us is to file an ap­peal within a stip­u­lated pe­riod of time. It is be­cause we couldn’t get our ap­peal heard within the stip­u­lated time that we had to re-file the mat­ter at the Supreme Court. What we have done is not to with­draw the ap­peal. We are still at ap­pli­ca­tion stage; we are now wait­ing the hear­ing date which we think will come up soon at the Supreme Court,” he said.

On why the state govern­ment seems not to have re­gards for the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act, Ipaiye said the state has no rea­son not to abide with the Act.

“We are not op­posed to the Act, but we have our own FOI bill un­der process at the La­gos State House of As­sem­bly. As soon as it is passed, we would be bound by it. We are not bound by federal statute. As at to­day, La­gos is the most pres­sured for in­for­ma­tion, par­tic­u­larly by non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, hu­man rights groups and the likes; we can­not give all in­for­ma­tion re­quired from us be­cause of se­cu­rity im­pli­ca­tion and ad­min­is­tra­tive work. We give what we have on de­mand,” he said.

PHOTO

From left: World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Nigeria, Dr Rui Vaz; UNICEF Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Jean Gough and Global Polio Erad­i­ca­tion Ex­pert, Chris Wolff, at the 27th meet­ing of the ex­pert re­view com­mit­tee on polio erad­i­ca­tion and rou­tine im­mu­ni­sa­tion, in Abuja yes­ter­day. NAN

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