- One of the prominent Nigerian politicians in the Second Republic, Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe has died
- Nzeribe who represented Imo West at the National Assembly died at age 83, though media reports vary regarding the day he actually passed on
- The deceased was notable for the infamous role he played in the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election
Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe, a prominent Second Republic politician, is dead. He was aged 83.
The Punch cited a reliable source close to the family as confirming the death of the Oguta-born maverick on Sunday afternoon, May 8.
The Nation also reported that a source from the family, who preferred anonymity, confirmed the incident.
The source, according to the newspaper, hinted the family is preparing a statement to announce the demise of Nzeribe said to have passed on on Saturday evening, May 7.
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It was gathered that Nzeribe had been on life support for some time.
Nzeribe, a First Republic politician represented Imo West at the National Assembly. The longest serving Senator from Imo has been ill for some time. He was born on November 2, 1938.
Nzeribe and the June 12 annulment
Nzeribe's most significant contribution to Nigerian politics, according to TheCable, came during the lead up to the June 12 presidential election in 1993.
"While the whole country wanted a change from the protracted reign of successive military regimes, Nzeribe wanted the opposite.
"He created the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN), a group of private citizens sponsoring a campaign calling for Ibrahim Babangida, the then military head of state, to remain in office for at least another four years," the report stated.
On June 10, 1993, two days before the election, the ABN obtained a high court injunction against the holding of the poll based on alleged corruption.
Little attention was given to the injunction by Nigerians and politicians alike as the election proceeded as planned.
However, on June 15, as the collation of the votes was ongoing, ABN obtained another court injunction to halt the counting and verification.
The injunction gained attention this time as the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the electoral body at the time, accepted it and announced on 16 June that it was suspending its announcement of the results, indicating a court order prohibiting it.
Then eight days later, Babangida announced the annulment of the election.
At 22, Nzeribe hit a mega fortune, becoming a major player in the nation’s financial sector.
In the UK, Nzeribe first displayed his business acumen by selling life insurance schemes to black immigrants in the country. At 23, he bought his first Rolls Royce.
Providence smiled on him and he became so powerful and influential in Nigeria’s political landscape. He was elected a Senator to represent Orlu in 1999.
Senator Patrick Osakwe dies at 73 in London hospital
In another related report, a former senator who represented Delta North senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Patrick Osakwe, is dead.
Ossai Ovie Success, a media aide to Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa announced the death of Osakwe on his Facebook page on Tuesday, March 15.
“We just lost Senator Patrick Osakwe. My condolence to his family and Ndokwa nation. Senator Osakwe died at London hospital this evening at the age of 73."