By Eric Elezuo
Evidence available to the Boss suggests that the son of Chief MKO Abiola, Mr. Kola Abiola, had made a legal presentation which made the conferment of the GCFR honours on the presumed winner of the June 12 1993 Presidential Election possible.
In the legal presentation, titled Post Humous Conferment of Honours, which formed the rightful opinion, it was noted that:
“We advise that honours under the national Act (1964) (The Act) can be confered post humously. The Act itself does not explicitly with whether or not national honours can be conferred post humously, but the law is that that which is not explicitly excluded. Ojo Bolarinwa Theophilus vs Federal Republice (2012) LPPLR 9846 CA. This means that the post humous award of national honours is permitted under the Act.”
The letter further clarified that “A regulation made pursuase to the Act suggest that an award is conferred when the intended awardee “receives from the President at an investiture, “insignia” and the “instrument”, LN 67 of 1964 cl.3 (2) however, Mr. President is fully empowered to “dispense with” all of these requirement. LN 67 of 1964 cl.3 (3).”
The document also made reference to Military Heads of State who had post homously conferred honours on deserving soldiers as well as civilian Presidents such as President Goodluck Jonathan who conferred honours of GCON reserved for Vice Presidents on deserving citizens.
“This clearly allows Mr President by “direction” to award national honours post humously, in absentia or even to person present at an investiture but receiving thereeither the insignia or an instrument of both. We therefore advise that honours under the Act can be conferred post humously.”
The letter concluded that the power to confer honours irrespective of the degree lies with the President.
“The power to award national honours post humously is in Mr. President’s hands.”
It is therefore, not out of place for President Buhari to have awarded Chief MKO Abiola a post humous honours.