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Military Defies Court Order, Fails to Produce Abiola in Court

June 30, 1994

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) _ Nigeria’s military government, defying a High Court order, failed Thursday to produce the arrested politician Moshood K.O. Abiola in court.

The government lawyer claimed there had not been enough time to arrange the release of Abiola, the man who appeared to be winning last year’s elections when they were annulled by Nigeria’s military leaders. He was arrested June 23.

The judge had called for Abiola to be brought to court on Thursday. He ordered that the detained politician, who declared himself president on June 11, should be brought to court Monday.

Abiola’s daughter, K. Omolala Abiola Edewor, told the Nigerian Tribune she had heard that the security services had moved her father from Gashua prison to an undisclosed place in Rivers State.

He is ″pale and weak,″ she was quoted as saying, adding that the family had not been allowed to see him.

″An eyewitness painted a gory picture of my father looking very pale and lean as he limped into a security vehicle that took him on more than 12 hours agonizing journey from Gashua to Rivers State,″ Mrs. Edewor was quoted as saying in Thursday’s Nigerian Tribune newspaper.

Nigerian lawyers have added their voice to calls for Abiola’s release.

At a news conference in Lagos on Wednesday the Nigeria Bar Association said it was outraged by Abiola’s arrest.

The powerful union of oil workers and critics of the military leader Gen. Sani Abacha have also demanded Abiola’s release.

Update hourly