Don’t vilify Abacha, query those who stole the billions he left ― Al-Mustapha

In defence of Nigerian former head of state, General Sani Abacha, his former Chief Security Officer (COS), Major Hamza Al-Mustapha said instead of blaming the late military ruler for the billions looted during his regime, Nigerians should instead query those who pocketed the money he left.

According to Al-Mustapha, Abacha met lesser than 2 billion dollars in the nation’s foreign reserve and within 4 years and 8 months, “he did what was possible to raise it to over 9 billion dollars”.

Speaking with the BBC Hausa Service monitored by Vanguard on Thursday, he said; “I am surprised because when he assumed leadership, Nigeria had less than 2 billion in the foreign reserve. Things were not organized. “.

According to him, the 9 billion dollars left in the foreign reserve by the Abacha administration “vanished in 9 months.”

Pointing accusing fingers at those who he alleged embezzled the money left by Abacha, Al-Mustapha said; “The person that raised Nigeria’s image and enhanced security is now the subject of insult. But those who shared the money he left, are still alive and untouchable. ”

Defending why Abacha had to move chunks of money overseas, Al-Mustapha said it “was not a unilateral decision”.

“I’m saying this based on what I know and based on trust to Nigerians, their dignity and honour.”

“I’ve said it that there was a period Nigeria was to be sanctioned. So there were plans to keep money overseas so that Nigeria and Nigerians would not suffer when the sanction was imposed on the country.”

“We gathered Emirs and Chiefs from the South and from the North, together with VIPs of that time, those in government and those not in government.”

“We met at a place called Camp Bassey officer’s mess in the Brigade of Guards. It was there we deliberated on the threat to sanction Nigeria. Many decisions were made.”

“The meeting was also attended by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning, the CBN, etc.”

“It is surprising…. you should know when a person is opening an account, it is that every person that will go to the bank for biometric capture.

“But for him, that had not gone to these countries where the money was kept, what justification have they to say the accounts belonged to him? Have they ever seen where late Abacha appended his signature or thumbprint that the money belonged to him.?

“I’m surprised by the way Abacha is been blackmailed .”

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