Cablegate: On Day of Supreme Court Decision On 2003
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ABUJA 001172
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL KDEM KCOR NI ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: ON DAY OF SUPREME COURT DECISION ON 2003
ELECTIONS, POLICE STOP BUHARI SUPPORTERS, WARN OFF
REF: ABUJA 1153
1. With the Supreme Court due to deliver its judgment
today, July 1, in the suit filed by 2003 ANPP
presidential candidate General Muhammadu Buhari against
the April 2003 re-election of President Olusegun
Obasanjo, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police
command warned yesterday that it would arrest anyone
"coming into Abuja to foment trouble." Police
spokesman Emmanuel Ighodalo said in a press release
that his men have been instructed to stop "any mass
movement into Abuja" from yesterday.
2. Following the order, the police have increased
their motorized patrols in the FCT, intercepting and
questioning suspected vehicles. Last week, an Abuja
High Court had ruled that the 1990 Public Order Act,
allowing the police to arrest and detain people engaged
in peaceful assembly, was unconstitutional, and it
voided the Act (reftel).
3. On the morning of July 1 along the Kubwa road into
Abuja from Kaduna, three busloads of Buhari supporters
displaying ANPP banners were intercepted by a police
patrol team and prevented from going on to Abuja.
4. The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties
(CNPP) announced that it would mobilize its members for
today's Supreme Court judgment. Osita Okechukwu,
Assistant Secretary, said CNPP would "cash in" on the
High Court's ruling allowing peaceful demonstrations,
in order to stage a peaceful assembly today. He said
that the peaceful demonstration would either commend or
condemn the Supreme Court ruling today, but would be
held either way.
5. In a nationwide radio and television broadcast
last night, President Obasanjo announced the 60 percent
debt cancellation by the Paris Club (septel). He also
recounted the achievements of his administration and
called on Nigerians to give him more support "to
achieve more." The broadcast has been repeated several
times by government radio and television stations since
its original broadcast.