• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Remembering Option A4’s Prof Humphrey Nwosu

Remembering Option A4’s Prof Humphrey Nwosu

As Nigerians celebrated June 12, the Alaigbo Development Foundation put up a banner reminding citizens about “The Unsung Hero of June 12” and the “Option A4 originator”, Prof Humphrey Nwosu.

Chukwudi Obiora Nwosu also wrote an extended essay celebrating Prof Nwosu’s role. Here are excerpts of the main points.
His main points are that Nwosu risked his life twice to enter the inner sanctum of the meeting of the Supreme Military Council to get them to ignore a court order and allow the election to hold. Nwosu ignored a subsequent court order and compiled the election results showing MKO Abiola won.

HOW PROF HUMPHREY NWOSU DEFENDED THE DEMOCRACY

In the middle of the night of June 10, 1993, an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Bassey Ikpeme, in breach of the relevant decree, ordered the electoral body to put on hold the presidential election that was some 36 hours away from happening.

The plaintiff in the case was an unregistered body known as the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) , which consisted of a group of politicians generally believed to have government backing. Nwosu took the risk of his life and found his way in the morning uninvited to a meeting of the MILITARY COUNCIL, ASO VILLA, to explain the grave consequences of Ikpeme’s indiscreet pronouncement. After intimidation and harassment of Prof and other deliberations at the uninvited meeting, it was agreed that NEC could discount Ikpeme’s order and continue with its arrangements and preparations for the elections.

At the end of voting, when it became clear from the majority of the results already collated from the states that the candidate of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola could not be stopped from winning the contest, the then Chief Judge of Abuja, Justice Dahiru Saleh ordered NEC to halt the process. Again, Nwosu stormed the ASO Villa, but this time, he found that the government had withdrawn his support.

The then Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Clement Akpamgbo, who gave Nwosu legal backing earlier, did not only ditch him but also ensured that a bench warrant to arrest Nwosu issued by the Chief Judge of Abuja was duly served. From then, Nwosu became labelled as the problem, while his Electoral Commission was formally suspended forthwith. The only other option left to Nwosu was to seek judicial cover from the Court of Appeal, Kaduna Division, headed by Justice Achike With no one else behind Nwosu except the Commission’s vibrant Director of Legal Services, Bukhari Bello, with Chief Tony Ojukwu SAN, OFR, the current Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission. NEC drew attention to an earlier judgment by a higher court in which Oguntade JCA as he then was, established two main points.

The first was that where a court makes an order in a case where it lacked jurisdiction, the order was null and void; and second, that it was unnecessary to go on appeal in such circumstance.

This suggested that Nwosu had no business obeying the erroneous decisions of the lower courts. Interestingly, NEC produced in Court the COMPLETE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION, which he had been stopped from announcing and which confirmed the victory of MKO Abiola. The real problem was that some ambitious military fellows aided by a set of compromised politicians wanted to prolong military rule. At this point, the government, sensing that it might lose the case, decided to annul the election a few hours before the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Trust social media for its many voices-to-one-event approach. There were several other takes on Democracy Day.

• Kunle Solaja’s Sports Village Square highlighted MKO Abiola’s contributions to sports in a piece, “Thirty-one years after June 12 saga, there is no one like MKO Abiola, Africa’s First & Only Pillar of Sports”.

https://www.sportsvillagesquare.com/2024/06/12/thirty-one-years-after-june-12-saga-there-is-no-one-like-mko-abiola-africas-first-only-pillar-of-sports/

• On another platform, an HR specialist identified characteristics of democratic workplaces.

Are you practising democracy in your workplace?

If you see three to five of these in your workplace, then there is a presence of democracy, but if you don’t see it, then you may need to upgrade.

1.⁠ ⁠There are systems, structures, and processes.

2.⁠ ⁠Before a decision, it goes through a proper approval process.

3.⁠ ⁠Everyone, no matter their role or grade and where they work, feels a sense of belonging to the organisation

4.⁠ ⁠The leaders subject themselves to the same standards as others, not an Animal Farm story.

5.⁠ ⁠Everyone gets to contribute and gets rewarded for their contributions.

6.⁠ ⁠No marginalisation of any group or generation; the organisation embraces diversity and inclusion.

7.⁠ ⁠People do not work based on fear, but they understand the vision of the organisation and function based on their understanding of the business.

8. People are involved and not aloof about happenings in the workplace

9.⁠ ⁠There is a way to seek redress for grievances, no matter who is involved.

10.⁠ ⁠The organisation and its people are progressing and refining their programs and policies to make life better for everyone.

Happy Democracy Day. Start advocating for Democracy in your organisation if it’s absent.

Thank me later.

Bolaji Shote – June 2024

When legislators seek judicial pronouncements

The logjam about the status of 27 lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly dragged from the courts to social media and fell into the growing territory of disinformation. A Rivers State High Court sitting in Degema dismissed a request by the 27 for reinstatement into the Assembly following their defection from the PDP.

Someone presented the judgment as if the court endorsed their request. Indeed, media platforms from print, broadcast, and online reported it as a victory for Rivers 27.

“Court throws out suit to sack 27 Rivers lawmakers over defection”, a flagship medium stated. Another print medium said, “Breaking: 27 pro-Wike lawmakers still PDP members, says Rivers Court”.

Untrue, screamed the Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dagogo Iboroma, SAN. He addressed two media briefings in two days. On the second day, he showed the court order to prove that the judgement differed from the initial reports.
It is all about the politics of control in the state.

The exit of   from Nigeria


It received a largely negative response, as evident in this report.