I annulled June 12 Election, Not IBB- Justice Dahiru Saleh

Source: pointblanknews.com

Retired Justice Dahiru Saleh, the former Chief Judge of the Federal High

Court who pronounced the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential

election, has absolved former Military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida (IBB), of

blame in the controversial decision.
Speaking to The Interview magazine, Saleh declared that IBB did not direct

him to annul the election but it was his own decision adding that he had

no regrets cancelling the election and would repeat the judgement were it

brought to him again.
“The former president did nothing of the sort,” Saleh declared, when asked

if IBB forced the judgment on him.
“There were so many cases and I cannot remember all the cases off-hand.

There was the case against MKO Abiola and it was before one of my judges;

she was Igbo but I can't remember her name. She started the case, then

fell sick and was flown out of the country for treatment.

“Then there was another case against him (MKO Abiola) and I had to

transfer the case from the other judge's court to my court. During that

time it turned that Abiola didn't even finish the case before he

disappeared. Later, I learnt he had been arrested by authorities.

“If Abiola wasn't happy with the case, he could have appealed it to the

Court of Appeal, to the Supreme Court.
“The judicial system was still open but he chose not to follow it. Why no

one followed up the annulment of the election in the higher courts is best

known to members of Abiola's party at that time.
“If he, as an individual, was not interested, there must have been other

people who would be interested to see the end of the story but they didn't

“They were very close (referring to Abiola and IBB) and there were so many

assumptions regarding the relationship between the two of them.

“But the point is, in those days, the Yorubas wanted Abiola to become

president; he was seen as a kind and considerate man to every Tom, Dick

and Harry.
“Unfortunately, he wanted to be the president but he couldn't be. While

the political blame must be on President Babangida, he (Babangida) did

nothing of the sort to stop him, using my court.
“I was already Chief Judge when he was president. He came and met me there

and he left me there. But while he was in office, we had no personal

relationship. He was my boss; I was his subject.
“Anybody not satisfied with what I was doing as Chief Judge could appeal

to the Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court, simple.

“And I have no regrets, none whatever. No regrets. I would repeat the same

thing now.”
The 1993 presidential election, adjudged to be one of the most credible

polls in the country's history, saw MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic

Party defeating Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention,

although, the final results was not declared as the election was annulled.

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