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MKO Abiola Ex-CJN Belgore says award of posthumous GCFR to late politician is illegal

Belgore said the national honour cannot be given to dead people, adding that only soldiers can be given posthumous medals for their bravery.

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Ex-CJN Belgore says posthumous GCFR to MKO Abiola is illegal play

M.K.O Abiola

(Vanguard)

A former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Alfa Belgore has said that the national honour President Muhammadu Buhari conferred on late Moshood Abiola is illegal.

The President had on Wednesday, June 6, awarded a posthumous award of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 election.

Buhari also declared June 12 as the new Democracy Day instead of May 29, saying June 12 is a more symbolic day.

IBB has apologised to MKO Abiola's family about annulment of June 12, 1993 election, says daughter play Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) and late MKO Abiola (Naija Gists )

 

But Belgore, a retired judge, in an interview with Premium Times on Wednesday, said a national honour cannot be given to a dead person, "much less the GCFR", which is the highest honour in the land.

"It is not done… it is for people living", the retired judge was quoted as saying.

"The only thing they could do is to name a place after him, but national honours award, no."

National Honours Act

Belgore, who chaired  the 2016 national honours committee, says that under the 1963 National Honours Act, only soldiers or other servicemen can be awarded posthumous medals for their bravery.

According to him, Buhari did not consult him before taking the step.

ALSO READ: How IBB stole Nigeria's freest and fairest election from MKO Abiola

The President also honoured Abiola's running mate in the 1993 election, Baba Gana Kingibe, and the late human rights lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi with the GCON title.

Buhari said the commemoration and investiture would take place on June 12, 2018.

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