In January 1990, the Federal Military Government amended Decree Two, shortening the time a person may be detained without charge from 6 months to 6 weeks; it named the Chief of the General Staff, Admiral AugustusAkhabueAikhomu (1939–2011) as the only authorized signatory of detention orders and created a review panel to make recommendations for the release or continued detention of detainees. Ministry of Justice officials stated that Decree 24, issued in late 1990, transferred those authorizing powers to the civilian Vice Presidency, the office that replaced the CGS in August. The Decree had not been made public at year’s end, causing some civil rights attorneys to criticize its issuance as an effort to sidetrack wrongful detention suits pending against the Federal Military Government. Modifications notwithstanding, many Nigerians considered Decree Two a threat to their basic freedoms because the Decree’s judicial ouster clause encourages arbitrary detention, with impunity for the arresting officers.
Additionally, there were widespread credible reports that the provisions of Decree Two were not always followed by police and security officers. Police and security officials routinely forged detention orders. In the aftermath ofthe April 22 coup attempt, the Federal Military Government detained more than 100 civilians for statements critical of the Government or possible association with suspected coup plotters. Some were detained under Decree Two, others without being charged. Among the prominent detainees were former Presidential candidate, Tunji Braithwaite, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) vice president Jolly Tanko Yusuf, former Minister of Mines, Power and Steel Paul Unongo, and several university professors and student leaders. Their periods of detention ranged from a few days to over 3 months for Professor ObaroIkime.
On May 19, 1990 General Ibrahim Babangida lifted the 3 months ban on political campaign and May 26, 1990, ward elections were held in the 5,575wards in the country.
On June 8, 1990, THE PUNCH newspaper was closed down for 3weeks by the Federal Government and thereafter the publisher of NEWBREED magazine was detained.
On July 25 1991, the National Conventions of the two political parties were held in Abuja. Chief Tom Ikimi (74) defeated Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu to emerge as the chairman of the National Republican Convention. Chief Tom Ikimi is from Igueben in the present Edo state. He was born in Kumba–Southern, British Cameroons(modern-day Cameroon) to John OnileIkimi and Victoria IsiemoaIkimi, both from Igueben.In the Social Democratic Party, Ambassador Baba GanaKingigbe defeated Mohammed Arzika. Ambassador Kingibe (73) from Maiduguri, was former head, current affairs and features department, Northern Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation(now Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria), 1970–1972, external affairs officer, Ministry of External Affairs, Lagos, Nigeria, 1972-1975, senior counselor, Nigeria High Commission, London, Nigeria Ambassador to Greece with accreditation to Cyprus, 1981-1984, Nigerian ambassador to Pakistan , 1984–1987, secretary, Constituent Assembly, Abuja, Nigeria, 1988-1989.
In later years Tom Ikimi and Baba GanaKingibe became Ministers under General SaniAbacha while under former President OlusegunObasanjo, AlhajiArzika became Minister for Communications and Ibrahim Mantu became deputy Senate President.
On December 8, 1990, elections were held into local government councils with voters’ turn out estimated roughly as under 20% nationwide. The SDP won 53% of the local government chairmanships and local counselors positions.
On March 27 1991, the Armed Forces Ruling Council opted for open ballot for all future elections. And on June 15 1991, delegates elections into local government and state congresses were held throughout the nation. On August 27 1991, General Babangidacreated nine new states. They were—Abia, Anambra, Delta,Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Osun, Yobe and Taraba states as well as 47 new local governments. On September 23 1991, General Babangida created 89 local governments while on October 19 1991, governorship primaries were held in all the states. On October 6 1991, SDP held elections in 10states while the NRC held its own on November 9, 1991. On November 15 1991, NRC presented governorship candidates to the NEC meeting. On November 25 1991, the government disqualified 12 governorship aspirants including AlhajiAtikuAbubakar and Bala Takaya, from nine states and ordered fresh elections in those states. On December 2, 1991, General Babangida disqualified prominent politicians and detained them. They were AlhajiAbubakarRimi, AlhajiMaitama Yusuf, AlhajiLateefKayodeJakande, AlhajiLamidiAdedibu, Chief Jim Nwobodo, Chief C.C. Onoh, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Arthur Nzeribe, Chief OlusolaSaraki, Mr. Solomon Lar and Major General (rtd.) Musa ShehuYar’adua. On December 18, 1991, General Babangida released the detained politicians and threw open the presidential race.
On January 2, 1992, all the elected governors of the 30 states were sworn-in and the entire federal cabinet was dissolved. The governors and their deputies wereAbia-DrOgbonnayaOnu-Clement Nwankwo, Adamawa- Alhaji Sale Michika-Mr. Lynn Nathan, AkwaIbom-ObongAkpanIsemin-EtimOkpoyo, Anambra- Dr. ChukwuemekaEzeife-DrChidiMwike, Bauchi-AlhajiDahiru Mohammed-AlhajiUmaru Ahmed, Benue-Reverend Father Moses Adasu-YakubuAgda, Borno-AlhajiMaijiLawan-Alhaji Hassan, Cross River-Clement Ebri-Cecilia Ekpeyong, Delta-FelixIbru-Samson Ebonka, Edo-John Oyegun-Reverend PeterObada, Enugu- OkwesiliezeNwodo-Dr. IchaItuma, Imo- Evan Enwerem-Dr. Douglas Acholonu, Jigawa-Alhaji A.S. Birmikudi-AlhajiShehuKwafalo, Kaduna-Alhaji Mohammed Lere-James Mugaji, Kano-AlhajiKabiru Gaya-Alhaji Ahmed Usman, Katsina-AlhajiSaiduBarda-AlhajiAbdullahiAmidu, Kwara- AlhajiShaabaLafiagi-Prince OjoFadumila, Kebbi-AlhajiAbubakar Musa-AlhajiAliyu Mohammed, Kogi-AlhajiAbubakarAudu-S. Ola Akande, Lagos- Michael Otedola-AlhajaSinatuOjikutu, Niger- Dr. Musa Inuwa-AlhajiJiboGarba, Ogun-OlusegunOsoba-AlhajiRafiuOgunleye,Ondo-BamideleOlumilua-Dr.OlusegunAgagu,Osun-AlhajiIsiakaAdeleke-Clement AdesuyiHaastrup, Oyo-KolapoIshola-Alhaji Ahmed Gbadamosi, Plateau-Fidelis Tapgun- AlhajiBalaUsman, Rivers-Rufus Ada-George-Dr. Peter Odili, Sokoto-AlhajiYahayaAbdulkarim-Alhaji Ahmed Gusau, Taraba-Reverend Jolly Nyame- Alhaji S.D. Gani and Yobe-Alhaji Abba Ibrahim-AlhajiGoniBura.
The following served as Ministers under General Babangida. They were—General SaniAbacha,Lt-Colonel Ahmed AbokiAbdullahi, Air Commodore HamzaAbdullahi, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar, Prince Bola Ajibola, Lt-General (rtd) Julius AlaniIpoolaAkinrinade, Alex Akinyele,ProfessorBolajiAkinyemi, Clement Akpamgbo, AlhajiAbubakarAlhaji, Professor JubrilAminu, AlhajiMammanAnkah, Lt-Colonel AbubakarTankoAyuba, Major –General Domkat Yah Bali, Professor Gordian Ezekwe, Professor Emmanuel Emovon, EyomaItaEyoma, Professor BabatundeFafunwa, OluFalae, T.O. Graham-Douglas, Air Commodore Lamba Deng Gwom,AlhajiAbubakarHashidu, Zakari Ibrahim, OlawaleIge, Air Commodore Anthony Ikhazobor, Air Vice-Marshall Nuradeen Mohammed Imam, Dr. KaluIdikaKalu, Major-GeneralMammanTsofoKontagora, Rear Admiral SeboPatrick Koshoni, Major-General YohannaYerima Kure, Professor OlikoyeRansome-Kuti, Air Commodore Adebayo Hammed Lawal, AlhajiRilwanuLukman, Brigadier David Bonaventure Mark, AlhajiLawal Mala, Major-General AbdullahiBaguduMamman, AlhajiIsmailaMamman, Prince Tony Momoh, AlhajiBunu Sheriff Musa, DrShetima Mustapha, Major-General MuhammaduGadoNasko, Major-General Ike Omar SandaNwachukwu, Dr Chu Okongwu, Air Vice-Marshal Anthony Okpere, Dr. TunjiOlagunju, Professor Sam Oyovbaire, Air Vice-Marshal IshayaAboiShekari, SenasUkpanah, Lt-Colonel Anthony Ukpo, AlhajiAbubakar Umar, Brigadier Jeremiah TimbutUseni, Major-General MammanJiyaVatsa, Professor Tam David-West and Alhaji Ibrahim Zakaw.
ERIC TENIOLA, A FORMER DIRECTOR AT THE PRESIDENCY STAYS IN LAGOS.