…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
Former Chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Humphrey Nwosu, who supervised the June 12, 1993, presidential election, has accused several individuals, including former Senate President David Mark, of disrupting the election.
Nwosu also implicated former Chief of Naval Staff Murtala Nyako and General Aliyu Gusau.
These actions were allegedly supported by former military President Ibrahim Babangida and General Sani Abacha.
Surprising Revelations about the Election’s Cancellation
During an interview with Sahara TV at the launch of his book, ‘Laying the Foundation for Nigeria’s Democracy: My Account of June 12’, Nwosu disclosed unexpected details about the cancellation of the election by the military junta led by Babangida.
He described the sequence of events leading up to and following the June 12 presidential election, which had been won by Chief Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Court Order to Halt the Release of Election Results
Nwosu recounted how, with only the results from Taraba State remaining to be declared, he received a court order from the Abuja High Court instructing him not to release the election results.
Despite promises made on June 16, 1993, that if the elections were conducted fairly, accepted by international and local observers, the commission would receive national honors, Nwosu and his colleagues faced unexpected obstacles.
Meeting of the National Defence and Security Council
As the situation unfolded, Nwosu convened an emergency meeting of the commission on June 16.
By then, all the election results had been received except for Taraba State’s, and the Resident Electoral Commissioner from Delta, Prof. Osada, was on his way to bring the results.
However, they were ordered to halt the release of the results by the National Defence and Security Council, of which Babangida and Abacha were members.
Attempts to Resolve the Issue
Nwosu explained that a committee, headed by Abacha, was formed to find a solution.
The committee included Nwosu, Nyako, Gusau, and Mark.
Nwosu suggested that they should be allowed to conclude the election since they were a technical body, not politicians, and the law had been followed.
At a sub-committee meeting, Nwosu reiterated that the election had been conducted, results had been collected, and they should be allowed to proceed.
He proposed that if the results were not to be released, Abiola and Tofa should negotiate.
Babangida’s Defiance and Dissolution of the Commission
Nwosu described how Babangida reacted angrily, asserting that Nwosu had no authority to dictate what they should do since he was not a member of the National Defence and Security Council.
Babangida claimed that conducting the election had been illegal and insisted on a decision being made at Aso Rock.
Nwosu was directed to invite all the national commissioners to a meeting at Aso Rock, which took place on June 18.
During the meeting, NEC (National Electoral Commission) decided to conclude and announce the results, while individuals dissatisfied with the outcome could go to the tribunal.
However, Babangida dismissed their decision, leaving them on their own. The commission’s dissolution took place on June 23, just two days before the court was set to announce its decision on June 25.
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