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Why I refused breakfast with Abacha after granting Abiola bail – Justice Umar Abdullahi


Why I refused breakfast with Abacha after granting Abiola bail – Justice Umar Abdullahi

Justice Umar Faruk Abdullahi, the former attorney-general of Katsina state in 1975, transitioned to the bench, promoted to a High Court judge in 1978 and later as a judge in the Court of Appeal.

In an interview with The Punch, disclosed that he was the one who granted bail to the late MKO Abiola during the military regime of the late Head of State, Sani Abacha.

He said that after military arrested Abiola, he was the presiding judge then in Kaduna Division and so he granted him bail.

Abdullahi alleged that after he granted Abiola bail, Gwarzo, who was one of late Sani Abacha’s close allies, came to meet him in Kaduna State and told him that Abacha was not happy with his ruling for granting Abiola bail, and two weeks after Gwarzo told him this, he (Gwarzo) came back to Kaduna State to tell him that Abacha had invited him to a breakfast he organised.

He said, “After I granted Abiola bail, I was invited to a breakfast with Abacha but did not attend”.

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About two weeks later, he came back to Kaduna and said, ‘Please, the head of state is organising a breakfast and I am going to put your name to attend. It was during fasting, and I said, ‘So you are going to put my name to attend the breaking of fast so that I would apologise to him ? Why do not you tell him that this is the legal process, why pin it on me ? I am only doing my job.”

Further talking, Justice Abdullahi said that he did not go until much later, when Abacha came to realise that he was either being misinformed or he did not appreciate their position as judges.

Narrating how he met Abacha months later, he said, “It was a chance meeting. There was a seminar or something he attended. After he opened the seminar, he saw me. People were rushing to greet him, but I did not move, so he came down to me and said, ‘We are still friends ?’ And I said yes.”

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