Date of Chief Abiola's escape from his compound following the June 1993 elections; surveillance of his compound between the elections and his departure; arrest of the security personnel assigned to guard the compound (June - August 1993) [NGA32739.E]

No reports of the detention of Moshood Abiola at his home/compound, nor of the compound's surveillance, nor of the arrest of the security personnel assigned to guard the compound in the two months following the June 1993 elections, could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, there are numerous reports of Abiola making public statements in Nigeria during the months of June and July 1993, from both his home and at press conferences (Africa Research Bulletin June 1993, 11041; AFP 19 June 1993; The New York Times 27 June 1993; The Times 6 July 1993; AFP 12 July 1993; Reuters 26 July 1993; AFP 31 July 1993; Reuters 2 Aug. 1993). On 18 June 1999, The Christian Science Monitor wrote that Abiola "has remained in his house in Lagos throughout the stop-and-go five days and has appealed to Nigerians to stay calm. 'Of course he is a bit low,' said one of his close aides, 'but he is not taking it lying down.'" A 29 June 1993 IPS report referred to Abiola as "[breaking] his silence denying charges of malpractices levelled against him and Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention." In further information on his stay at home, The Christian Science Monitor quoted the disappointment of an official of Abiola's Social Democratic Party at the fact that he did not tour the country immediately after the June elections and that "instead he stayed at home, too frightened or too narrow-minded to venture out" (13 Aug. 1993).

On, or just before, 5 August 1993, Abiola left Nigeria (Radio Nigeria 5 Aug. 1999; AFP 5 Aug. 1999; Keesing's Dec. 1994). He went to the United Kingdom (ibid.) and then went on to the United States (ibid. Aug. 1993; The Christian Science Monitor 13 Aug. 1993; Africa Research Bulletin Aug. 1993, 11105). He returned to Nigeria on 24 September 1993 (Keesing's Sept. 1993; Africa Research Bulletin Sept. 1993, 11141; AFP 24 Sept. 1993).

There are also reports of the security that was around Abiola during this period. Financial Times referred on 26 July 1993 to the "fortified" nature of his compound with a semblance to the "home of a head of state." This publication stated that his compound was "besieged by well-wishers since his unofficial victory was annulled" and that "excited Abiola fans were admitted through massive gates at intervals by security guards." In addition, there were reports of the presence of police escorts, similar to those of a head of state, when he travelled (ibid.; Time 9 Aug. 1993).

Abiola was arrested on 23 June 1994 "after coming out of hiding to defy the military-backed government" (AFP 23 June 1994; Keesing's 1995). In a 26 June 1994 report on the plans of Abiola to declare himself president on the anniversary of the 1993 elections, West Africa stated that he had "gone underground" and that "Abiola made the proclamation after breaching the security cordon around his house in Lagos and escaping from virtual house arrest. ... police had taken up positions around Abiola's house as early as Friday June 10 1994."

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. September 1993. Vol. 30, No. 9. "Nigeria: Abiola's Return."

_____. August 1993. Vol. 30, No. 8. "Nigeria: Civilian Window-Dressing."

_____. June 1993. Vol. 30, No. 6. "Nigeria: Catalogue of Events."

Agence France Presse (AFP). 23 June 1994. "Abiola Reportedly Arrested After Addressing Supporters in Lagos." (BBC Summary 24 June 1994/NEXIS)

_____. 24 September 1993. "Abiola Heads Home After Six-Week International Campaign." (NEXIS)

_____. 5 August 1993. "Nigerian Opposition Leader at Foreign Office." (NEXIS)

_____. 31 July 1993. "Abiola Opposes Any Compromise." (FBIS-AFR-93-146 2 Aug. 1993)

_____. 12 July 1993. "Babaginda Meets Military Over Political Crisis." (NEXIS)

_____. 19 June 1993. "Abiola Declares Self Election Winner." (FBIS-AFR-93-117 21 June 1993)

The Christian Science Monitor [Boston]. 13 August 1993. Paul Adams. "Nigeria's Political Crisis Revives North-South Split." (NEXIS)

_____. 18 June 1993. Paul Adams. "Elections Suspended, Nigerians Again Find Democracy in Peril." (NEXIS)

Financial Times [London]. 26 July 1993. Paul Adams. "Nigeria's Other head of State: Abiola is Cultivating His Image as a Leader as He Plays a Wary Game With the Military Ruler." (NEXIS)

Inter Press Service (IPS). 29 June 1999. Remi Oyo. "Nigeria: Riots, Boycotts Follow Political Impasse." (NEXIS)

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 1995. Vol. 41. "Politics: 1994 Key Events."

_____. December 1994. Vol. 40. "Nigeria: 1993 Overview."

_____. September 1993. Vol. 39. "Nigeria: Proposals for Fresh Elections."

_____. August 1993. Vol. 39. "Nigeria: Flight of Abiola."

Radio Nigeria [Lagos]. 5 August 1999. "Nigeria: Minister Says 'Constitutional Freedom' Allows Abiola's Visits Abroad." (BBC Summary 6 Aug. 1993/NEXIS)

Reuters. 2 August 1993. Tunde Obadina. "Political Crisis Still Grips Nigeria." (NEXIS)

_____. 26 July 1993. "Thousands of Nigerians Flee to Home Towns." (NEXIS)

The New York Times. 27 June 1993. Kenneth B. Noble. "Nigerian Military Ruler Announces New Elections." (NEXIS)

Time. 9 August 1993. Barry Hillenbrand. "Nigeria: Brink of an Abyss." (NEXIS)

The Times [London] 6 July 1993. Elizabeth Obadina and Kate Anderson. "Lagos Explodes in Violent Protest Over Election Veto." (NEXIS)

West Africa [London]. 26 June 1994. "Picking up the Gauntlet."

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential. [London]. June - September 1993.

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. June - September 1993.

Indexed Media Review [Ottawa]. June - August 1993.

New African [London]. June - September 1993.

Resource Centre. Nigeria country file. June - September 1993.

West Africa [London]. June - September 1993.