Dahiru Saleh, the judge who pronounced the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election said he did it on his own and not on the orders of former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida.
Speaking to The Interview magazine, Mr. Saleh said, “The former president did nothing of the sort.”
”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.”
Saleh, who was the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court at the time, said Mr. Abiola ought to have challenged his decision at a Court of Appeal but chose not to.
”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 appeal.”
”While the political blame must be on President Babangida, he (Babangida) did nothing of the sort to stop him, using my court.”