Today in Nigerian history, General Sani Abacha died in office from unknown causes while at the presidential villa. He was buried according to Muslim tradition without an autopsy.

However, Abacha’s death is still a mystery. One popular story is that he may have been killed by poisoning, when some Indian prostitutes from Dubai were in his company. The common narrative is that the prostitutes poisoned whatever he was consuming. Abacha was reportedly “unwell” at 4:30 and died on his bed at 6:15am. The former ruler of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was the first and only military head of state that never skipped a rank to become a full-star general.

Furthermore, he is the most successful coup plotter in the history of Nigeria’s military. Abacha participated in every single successful coup in Nigerian history. He had held several public offices before he became head of state including Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Chief of Army Staff, and Minister of Defense. The late army general and politician overthrew Ernest Shonekan on 17 November 1993. Abacha was known for human rights abuses, and corruption allegations. In fact, he was named the fourth most corrupt leader in history by Transparency International. Sani Abacha’s family reportedly stole £5 billion from the country’s coffers.

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