How Late Arthur Nzeribe, Others Attempted To Sabotage Nigeria’s Democracy


Aformer Nigerian Senator, Francis Arthur Nzeribe died on Sunday morning.

 Nzeribe was declared dead at a foreign hospital following an undisclosed ailment.

Meanwhile, the late Nzeribe during his active years in politics was part of those who made efforts to sabotage the democracy of Nigeria, particularly with the role he played during the June 12, 1993 elections.

Having high hopes for a smooth passage into a democratic government, Nigerians filed out in orderly queues on June 12, 1993, to decide who would become the President between Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO Abiola) of the Social Democratic Party and Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention.

However, Nzeribe and Abimbola Davis, among others had other plans, which were to ensure Ibrahim Babangida remained in power.

In a May 18, 1993 meeting at Sheraton Hotel (room 1034), which involved Nzeribe, Abimbola Davis, Director of Operations of Association for Better Nigeria (ABN); Clement Akpamgbo, Attorney-General of the Federation and legal strategist; Brigadier-General Haliru Akilu, Babangida’s chief spook and linkman with the ABN, the group finalised plans to stop the June 12 elections.
After learning of the plot, Campaign for Democracy, a pro-democracy outfit then led by Beko Ransome-Kuti, headed for the court to stop the ABN from carrying out its coup.
Joined as defendants in the suit No. LD/1148/93 were General Ibrahim Babangida and Chief Ola Olatunde, National Director of Operations of the ABN and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Dr Ransome-Kuti had contended that if not checked, the activities of ABN could derail the transition process.
In her ruling, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya restrained the ABN and its agents from carrying out any activity that could perpetuate Babangida in office.

However, Nzeribe and his ABN group, two days before the election, approached an Abuja High Court and obtained a court order from the late Justice Bassey Ikpeme in a midnight ruling, which they tried to use to stop the June 12 election.

The ABN, led by the late Nzeribe, was an organisation believed to have been set up and funded by Babangida to scuttle the 1993 democratic election.




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