ABN AND THE 1993 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WON BY MKO ABIOLA
…….According to the book, at this stage of confusion in the military hierarchy, former Second Republic senator, Francis Nzeribe, came up with the military-should-stay campaign, which served as tonic for the government. He formed the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN), with Abimbola Davies as his second in command.
“Nzeribe went to Abuja high court on June 10 to stop the presidential election for alleged irregularities and corruption in the conduct of the SDP primaries won by Abiola. ABN alleged that Abiola used money to induce the majority of the delegates to vote for him.
“At 9.30pm on the same day, the court, presided over by justice Bassey Ita Ikpeme, now deceased, threw the spanner into the works. She “restrained (NEC) from conducting the presidential election on the June 12, 1993.”
Her judgment was the first major indication that the transition programme was under serious threat. “Nwosu tried to salvage it. He appeared before the NDSC on June 11 and put a strong argument in favour of going ahead with the election. He argued, quite passionately, that if the election was postponed, the election materials already on site would be compromised.
“NEC had enough protection under the decree to ignore Ikpeme’s ruling. But the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Clement Akpamgbo, had a different take on the issue. He did not support Nwosu’s position. Instead, he advised that the election be postponed in obedience to the order, NEC could then appeal and have the order set aside by a superior court.