General Sani  Abacha

General Sani Abacha

Former President (1993-1998)

Date of Birth: 20/07/1943
Place of Birth: Kano
Died: 08/06/1998

Education: Nigerian Military College, Kaduna, 1962-63; Mons Defence Cadet College, Aldershot, United Kingdom, 1963; School of Infantry, Warminster, UK, 1966 and 1971; Command Staff College, Jaji, 1976; National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, 1981.

Transferred from the Air Force to the army, 1975; Chief of Army Staff, 1985;  Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1989-90; Minister of Defence, 1990; President and Commander of the Armed Forces, 1993.

Commentary: General Sani Abacha took power in a bloodless coup in November 1993 and left it suddenly in a 'cardiac coup' on 7 June 1998. He has the doubtful honour of being thought of by many as the most brutal dictator in Nigeria’s history. His regime is regarded as even more corrupt and brutal than that of General Ibrahim Babangida, and he is blamed for undermining Nigeria's military and economy.

Gen. Abacha and his family misappropriated billions of dollars from state coffers. In 2009, a court in Geneva, Switzerland, learnt how, from 1993-98, Abacha's family members and their advisors set up front companies to channel hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen state funds through established Western banks including Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.  Abba Abacha, a son of the former military leader, was convicted for participating in a criminal organisation.

Abacha's death, allegedly in an orgy with Indian prostitutes, left many Nigerians puzzling over whether it was his failing health or his fellow officers that finally ended his career. Some of his closest confidants insisted he was poisoned; yet others in Abuja thought that his poor health made a nocturnal heart attack entirely plausible.

Abacha was ostracised in international circles after the 1995 killing of the political and environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa. His time in office was marked by frequent purges of the army and tight restrictions on political activity. 

Displaying 1-10 out of 183 results.

Vol 55 N0 13


Sanusi's political throne

One of the leading contenders in the bid to replace Kwankwaso is Mohammed Sani Abacha, son of the late dictator General Sani Abacha...

Vol 55 N0 13


The trade-off

) stolen by General Sani Abacha in the 1990s...

This follows the decision a day earlier by the Nigerian government to drop criminal charges against his son, Mohammed Sani Abacha, 46...

Vol 55 N0 11


Trust still dormant

settlement with the relatives of the late Ogoni leader and his eight co-defendants who were hanged by the government of the late military dictator General Sani Abacha in 1995 (AC Vol 46 No 23, Abacha's verdict)...

Vol 55 N0 10


The ripples of OPL 245

This is a shell company controlled by Chief Dan Etete, aka Dauzia Loya Etete, the Oil Minister under General Sani Abacha, who ruled in 1993-98...

Vol 55 N0 7


There will be blood... and oil

General Sani Abacha’s son, now seeking political office with the governing People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is building a coalition to obtain his part of the plunder...

Dan Etete, aka Chief Dauzia Loya Etete, an Oil Minister in the notoriously corrupt regime of the late General Sani Abacha, had in 1998 awarded a shell company he controlled, Malabu Oil and Gas, the rights to one of the richest oil deposits in Nigerian waters (AC Vol 40 No 7, Muddy waters)...

Etete also cut out Mohammed Sani Abacha from the profits...

Abba Sani Abacha was convicted of being a member of a criminal organisation in Switzerland and failed in his efforts to prevent the Geneva court from seizing $350 mn...

He added, ‘the ghost of Sani Abacha’s reputation seemed likely to kill the deal...

Vol 55 N0 7


Chip off the old block

The children of the late dictator General Sani Abacha are making headlines...

The oldest, Mohammed Sani Abacha, operates a political network based in Kano, where his father was brought up...

Abacha’s daughter, Gumsu Sani Abacha, responded to Soyinka: ‘I reject his stupid, foolish, insignificant statement’...

Her brother Sadiq Sani Abacha wrote an incoherent 1,800-word ‘open letter’ insulting Soyinka, calling him a coward, casting aspersions on his honesty and defending his father’s record, including bringing down inflation and increasing foreign currency reserves...

Vol 54 N0 25


Presidential letter bombs

’ He then goes on to refer to the government’s claimed role in securing the acquittal of Major Hamza al Mustapha, the Chief Security Officer to military leader General Sani Abacha, who was on trial on charges that he organised the assassination of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the winner of the 1993 elections, Chief Moshood Abiola (AC Vol 53 No 6, Abacha’s ghost and Boko Haram)...

Vol 54 N0 15


The Delta catches fire again

Bodo was also the base for Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was hanged along with eight other members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People by General Sani Abacha's military regime in 1995 (AC Vol 36 No 25)...

Vol 54 N0 11


An insurgency without the oil

Then a military regime, led by General Sani Abacha from the north-east, tried to use the army to crush a militant insurgency in the Niger Delta...

Vol 54 N0 9


Law suits unravel

Yet the 2009 US$15 million settlement with the family of executed Ogoni leader Ken Saro-Wiwa and other victims of General Sani Abacha’s regime could never have been reached if this ruling had been in place (AC Vol 54 No 5)...

Displaying 1-10 out of 183 results.