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Sani Abacha.jpg

Sani Abacha (20 September 1943-8 June 1998) was Head of State of Nigeria from 17 November 1994 to 8 June 1998, succeeding Ernest Shonekan and preceding Abdulsalami Abubakar.


Sani Abacha was born on 20 September 1943 in Borno State to a Muslim Kanuri family, and he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army in 1963. He took part in the July Counter Coup of 1966  and helped Muhammadu Buhari in his 1983 coup, and in 1990 Abacha was appointed Minister of Defense of Nigeria under Ibrahim Babangida. In 1993, Abacha overthrew Ernest Shonekan's transitional government to become the new Head of State of Nigeria, and he reduced inflation while oil dropped to $15 a barrel, although his government was accused of human rights abuses. He jailed Olusegun Obasanjo and Moshood Abiola for treason and had Ken Saro-Wiwa hanged, and his regime was so brutal that a conspiracy was hatched against him. On 8 June 1998, while he was staying with two Indian prostitutes, he was poisoned and died in his bed.