P.M. News (Lagos)

30 October 2000

Nigeria: Aziza, Mujakperuo Face Oputa Panel

Lagos — Lagos Chairman of the Special Military Tribunal that sentenced General Olusegun Obasanjo to jail over the 1995 phantom coup, Maj. Gen. Patrick Aziza (retd), the chairman of the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) Major General Felix Mujakperuo and other key officers involved in the alleged torture and trial of the 1995 coup suspects, this morning appeared before the Oputa panel on violation of human rights sitting in Abuja.

Those who also appeared before the commission are Col. J.J. Olu (retd) and ACP Zakari Biu. They were all summoned last week by the commission to defend allegations of torture levelled against them by those jailed in the phantom coup saga.

However, one of the affected officers, the dreaded Col. Frank Omenka (retd) was absent. Nothing was said about his absence as he was believed to have fled the country.

Their appearance this morning was however, not without some drama. It was Aziza's counsel, Princess Monica Akiri who started it all, complaining that her client had not been served any summon and that they only came as a mark of respect for the commission.

Commission Chairman, Mr. Chukwudifu Oputa, thereafter directed that Gen. Aziza be served immediately and he was promptly served a summon amidst flashing of camera bulbs.

General Aziza, decked in green brockade with leather slippers to match demonstrated nervousness as he collected the papers from the bailiff.

Both Gen. Mujakperuo and Col. Olu equally took their turns to speak, complaining that they too had not been served any paper and that they only came to the Commission when they heard their names in the media, upon confirmation with the army authorities.

They, thereafter sought adjournment of the case involving them in order to have ample time to respond adequately. But some of the petitioners who were present at the sitting, who claimed that they too had not been served, said they were ready to proceed with the case as they had been out of jobs for five years and are anxiously awaiting the commission's ruling that they be recalled.

And for the second time in less than a week, the commission has adjourned the case brought by the son of late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar' Adua who died in Abakiliki Prison in Nov. 1997.

When the case was called this morning, Yar'Adua's son said he could not go on with the case as he had not been served with the commission's summon. He also wanted the commission to shift the venue of the sitting to Kano. This was however opposed by counsel to Gen. Aziza, ACP Biu and the prison authorities, all of who preferred that the case be moved to Lagos.

However, Commission Chairman, Justice Oputa ruled that since there was no unanimity, the Commission will remain in Abuja to hear the case and that the date will be announced.

P.M.NEWS Everton Eyes Taribo Monday 30 October 2000 Peter Demeyin Lagos There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for embattled Super Eagles star, Taribo West, who is currently on the shopping list of Everton who are in need of a defender to steer the team away from the lower rung of the English Premier League table.

Since the start of the Italian Serie A, the Super Eagles defender has been having problems settling down at AC Milan and has been consigned to the reserve bench by Coach Alberto Zacharoni.

Apparently unhappy about his ordeal in Milan, Taribo made a bold move to join Manchester City at the start of the English premiership, but the deal did not sail through even though over seven agents piled pressure on City's Coach, Joe Royle However, P.M.Sport scooped from a family source close to the Nigerian international that Taribo may soon realize his long time dream of playing in England as he is reportedly having discussions with Everton.

"He told us that Everton Coach, Mike Smith is desperately in need of his services to rescue the team from slipping further in the league," our source disclosed.

The prospect of Taribo getting a contract with Everton, our source explained, depends on A.C. Milan, adding that the English club declared that they are not ready to pay any transfer fee to the Italian club.

"Everton says they will only discuss the terms of salary and bonus because they are not ready to pay any transfer fee. But the chances of the contract sailing through depends on A.C. Millan. If they still want him, obviously they will ask for transfer fee, but in case they don't need him, they may not ask for any fee", our source informed.

Against the backdrop of recent pronouncement by Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Johannes Bonfrere who has declared that he would stop inviting bench- warmers to subsequent matches of the Super Eagles, soccer pundits opine that it would do the dread-locked star, a world of good if he gets a regular shirt at AC Milan or joins another club if he actually wants to continue to feature for the Super Eagles in future matches.

Babangida Bids For Dickenson Cup Vastly improved Mohammed Babangida, son of former President, Ibrahim Babangida will feel very good indeed at winning the highly prestigious Malta Guinness Dickenson Cup at the on-going Kaduna Polo Tournament.

The battle lines have been drawn already. To capture the crown, Babangida and the Ahmed Dasuki-owned Kaduna Xenon team have to first overpower Kaduna Barbedos and Kaduna Liyafa in the Stream A of the Malta Guinness Dickenson League before facing winner of Stream B.

Lagos Besse Oil Team made up of Ayo Olasojo, Bashir Musa, Jamilu Mohammed and Kayode Akinboboye have already got off to flying start by beating Lagos Agad 4-3 in the opening match of the Malta Guinness Dickenson Cup. It was a match that lived up to its billing. It was clearly a straight fight between Jamilu Mohammed and unstoppable Adamu Yaro who are both +5 handicapped players. Adamu Yaro scored 3 of the team's goals in the 6 Chukka match. The Lagos Agad which features the famous Dantata brothers will have to work extra hard to emerge top of their group.

Mohammed Babangida's most crucial test will come on Wednesday when he faces the sensational Kaduna Liyafa team.

which features one of the biggest and most consistent names in Nigerian Polo- Dawule Baba alias 'Skill'. This is one player that has seen it all and knows most of the tricks of the game.

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