From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
CHAIRMAN of the defunct National Electoral Commission (NEC), Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, has revealed why the military administration of Ibrahim Babangida annulled the June 12, 1993 election which Chief Moshood Abiola presumably won.
He said that for not heeding the military’s and Abuja High Court’s directive to stop announcing the result and his commission’s subsequent going to the Court of Appeal, the military disbanded his commission for reasons it didn’t disclose.
Nwosu disclosed this yesterday at Dr Arthur Nwankwo’s funeral rites in his Ajalli country home. Arthur was the National Vice-Chairman of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO); a group that fought for the restoration of Chief Abiola’s mandate.
At the burial ceremony was the 2019 Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi; former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka; former senator for Anambra Central, Chief Victor Umeh; former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo and a host of others.
The ex-NEC boss, Nwosu, said that he had cautioned the military against the decision to annul the result but his warnings were not heeded. He said that the military did not also consider that the then NRC had congratulated the SDP for its victory.
“NADECO stood for the restoration of Abiola’s mandate which meant late Nwankwo supported electoral reforms. I carried the electoral commission from 1989 -1993. He supported it.
“We knew Abiola was the winner even though the election was annulled, not because of any fraud or anything because the then NRC had congratulated the SDP. It is not done in African politics.
“The then National Republican Convention had congratulated Abiola and suddenly the military, for reasons best known to them, annulled the election. And I gave advice against it. Nigerians should know (that) I never supported the annulment. When we were asked to stop releasing results, I gave them the reasons why we should continue with the result because the election was free and fair. And when Abuja High Court asked us to stop releasing the results, again, we challenged it. We went to the Federal Appeal Court presided by Justice Achike. We went to him.
“The military said, ‘well, you are on your own’. This is very important for Nigerians to know. And the then Appeal Court gave the Abuja High Court submit everything about this election for accelerated hearing and judgement given on June 25, 1993.”