Maverick Nigerian politician and businessman who championed the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Francis Arthur Nzeribe, has died aged 83.
Born in Oguta in present-day Imo State, Nzeribe formed the Association for Better Nigeria to ensure the annulment of Nigeria’s freest presidential election.
His actions led to the annulment of the election by dictator Ibrahim Babangida and bloody riots that claimed many lives.
Through a spurious ruling delivered at night by the late Justice Bassey Ikpeme of a Federal High Court, the National Electoral Commission was stopped from declaring the full results of the election won by businessman, Aare MKO Abiola.
Born in Oguta, Imo State on November 2, 1938, hiss father, Oyimba Nzeribe, was a lawyer and former state counsel, and his grandfather, Akpati Nzeribe, held the traditional title of Ogbuagu, Oshiji, Damanze Oyimba of Oguta.
His second wife is the sister of Hajia Asabe Yar’Adua, wife of the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who was brother of President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Nzeribe lost his mother when he was a primary school student, while his father was away in Great Britain studying Law and was hence taken care of by Catholic priests.
He attended Bishop Shanahan College, Orlu and Holy Ghost College, Owerri.
Through the Ghana High Commission, he met Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and started to work for him in public relations.
Nkrumah also introduced him to other African leaders.
In 1969, Nzeribe started up the Fanz Organization based in London, dealing in heavy construction, arms, oil brokerage, publishing and property investment, with much business in the Middle East and Gulf states.
Nzeribe built a Palatial country home in Oguta called Heaven of Peace, an estate that contains multiple mansions.
In 1983, he spent a whooping N12m to win a Senatorial seat in Orlu.
He had four known Children whom amongst them is Adanna Nzeribe.