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 170 results.

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)...

Vol 54 N0 7


Beggar your pardon

When the scale of the outcry became clear, Jonathan's media handlers let it be known that he had also pardoned four military officers falsely accused of plotting against Sani Abacha's regime – only for it to emerge that they had already been pardoned in 1999...

Vol 54 N0 5


Eko Atlantic arises from the sea bed

Lebanese multi-millionaire Chagoury was the self-styled chief financial advisor to the late military leader, General Sani Abacha, whose record of grand corruption and egregious human rights abuses plumbed new lows for Nigerian governance...

Vol 53 N0 14


Turning security upside down

Sani Abacha, sacked after the military leader’s demise, then brought back by Ringim...

Vol 53 N0 6


Abacha’s ghost and Boko Haram

Security agents trying to disentangle the roots and widening network of the Boko Haram militia have identified links with a group of senior military and police officers who held power in General Sani Abacha’s junta...

Displaying 1-10 out of 170 results.