Nigerian minister fired by military

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The Independent Online
ABUJA (Reuter) - Nigeria's military ruler, General Sani Abacha, yesterday sacked the Justice Minister, Olu Onagoruwa, after he publicly disowned government actions which, he said, 'sweep away our liberties'.

An official statement said Mr Onagoruwa, a pro-democracy campaigner until he was recruited into the government after Gen Abacha seized power last November, was replaced with immediate effect by Michael Agbamuche, a senior lawyer.

Mr Onagoruwa threatened to resign last week, saying he was not party to new laws giving the military rulers wide powers of arrest and barring any challenge to their actions through the courts.

The decrees became public last Tuesday, the day the government crushed a strike by oil workers who were demanding the release of presidential claimant Moshood Abiola and his installation as head of state. There has been no official statement on the controversial laws, which appear to be the government's strategy for dealing with the campaign to topple Gen Abacha and install Mr Abiola.

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