Professor Humphry Nwosu was the chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) that conducted the June 12, 1993 elections. He is known for transforming Nigeria’s voting system by introducing the open ballot system and then the modified open ballot system (secret open ballot). Professor Nwosu succeeded Professor Eme Awa as chairman of NEC in 1989 and served until NEC was dissolved in 1993.

There were many rumours in the days after the election was annulled. Some people said that President Babangida had placed Professor Nwosu under house arrest to prevent him from releasing the results. Some others claimed that Professor Nwosu went into hiding and that soldiers were searching for him. Well, the best way to find out what happened is to hear from the horse’s mouth. Here is Professor Nwosu’s account of the events that occurred in June 1993.


1) His reaction when he heard about the court order that the election should not go ahead.

2) The military was divided into pro-Abacha and pro-election groups.

3) How he heard about a meeting of the National Defence and Security Council and gate crashed the meeting.

4) How the Abacha group tried to convince Babangida to cancel the election.

5) How he convinced Babangida that the election must go on.

6) The process of releasing the election results

7) How he heard about a court order that barred him from releasing the results.

8 ) General Abacha shouted at him and accused him of conducting the election despite the fact that there was a court order that the election should not hold.

9) How he heard that NEC had been disolved while he was preparing to challenge the court order.