The first post-independence National Government was formed by a conservative alliance of the NCNC and the NPC, with Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa , a Hausa, becoming Nigeria's first Prime Minister.
The PRC, under new head of state Abubakar, commuted the sentences of those accused in the alleged 1997 coup in July 1998.
In March 1999, Diya and 54 others accused or convicted of participation in coups in 1990, 1995, and 1997 were released.
Following the death of former head of state Abacha in June, Nigeria
released almost all known civilian political detainees, including the Ogoni 19.
M.K.O. Abiola, who still claimed his right to the presidency, also died in August of the year, just before he was to be released from prison.
During both the Abacha and Abubakar eras, Nigeria
's main decisionmaking organ was the exclusively military Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) which governed by decree.
oversaw the 32-member federal executive council composed of civilians and military officers.
Pending the promulgation of the constitution written by the constitutional conference in 1995, the government observed some provisions of the 1979 and 1989 constitutions.
Neither Abacha nor Abubakar
lifted the decree suspending the 1979 constitution, and the 1989 constitution was not implemented.
Former military head of state Olusegun Obasanjo , freed from prison by Abubakar, ran as a civilian candidate and won the presidential election.