Sani Abacha not a thief, says wife Maryam

Sani Abacha and Maryam Abacha
Sani Abacha and Maryam Abacha

By Richard Elesho

Twenty-two years after the death of Nigeria’s former dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, his wife Maryam is writhing under the pang of abandonment by former friends and relations, especially in Kano.

She claimed the betrayal is responsible for the spate of allegations of financial impropriety being made against her husband, insisting he was not a thief.

She wondered why it took more than two decades for the said loots to be coming out, noting that they were all lies and that time would bring out the truth.

The former first lady stated this in an interview with Kano Focus to mark the 22th anniversary of the death of the former military ruler.

She did not hide her disappointment with Kano people.

“I hope Kano people will realise that Sani was their son. And this man was born in Kano in Sabon Gari and later he came to Fagge and grew up, but his name is Abacha – a Kanuri name from Borno.

“He has marks, Kanuri marks on his face, but he chose to be a Kano man. And he worked for Kano and he planted Kano people.

“There are people that he helped a lot, but they are not even greeting me now for no reason.

“They just hate us! But why? This is a very bad attitude. It is Haram and Allah is watching us.”

She insisted that her husband did not steal from the country as being claimed, saying he was being framed.

“How come this man was not a thief until he died? What is this amount of money after 22 years?

“You say oh we have found this amount of money and we’re bringing it back.

“It is a shame to tell lies on a dead man! It is a shame to tell lies on your leader.

“If he had done wrong, God knows. If other people are putting the wrong on him, it is a matter of time,” she added

She has harsh words for those behind her travails.

“They will kneel down like America is kneeling down now.

“Anybody that is evil will kneel down just like this corona has come to shut this world.”

Abacha has been the most vilified among Nigeria’s former military rulers.

He incarcerated Moshood Abiola, the winner of the June 12 1993 Presidential election and sat on his mandate until death forced him off the throne on June 8 1998.

His killer squad assassinated Abiola’s wife Kudirat in 1996.

He forced many pro-democracy activists into exile and put many others in jail.

His government also shut down newspapers, not caring about the livelihood of the workers there.

On top of that, he wanted to succeed himself as a civilian leader, in an orchestrated political move, with five million march.

But death took him away on 8 June 1998.


  1. Abacha stole just like IBB, abdulsalam, OBJ . The only difference is that he is dead. Maryam, he stole and actually, hide them away such that even you cannot believe what he did. One day we shall talk about others too, maybe when they are dead.
    Meanwhile, this woman should be forgiven and rehabilitated. She needs friends.

    • Really? Under a normal democracy built on the rule of law and natural justice, this woman should be in prison for various criminal activities she committed alone and jointly with her husband. You have conveniently forgotten about all those folks Abacha killed or truncated their lives with those bombs planted in various places. What about those ones that lost their fathers, brothers, uncles, sisters, mothers to
      Abahca’s tyrannical rule directly or indirectly or as a result of the turmoil which resulted from his various actions before he was killed. The Nigerian budget has been largely sustained in part by various repatriations of Abacha loot from various parts of the world. This woman has the audacity to say all these because she was spared by those loyal to her husband in secret who protected her and her children from being treated as accomplices and tried in court. Why wont she too say rubbish now, but she should be mindful that criminal offences have no time bar, and can be re-opened and she can still be charged for her role in the various money laundering schemes during the Abacha dictatorship. Ppl’s blood are on the head of your family for ever, and no time interval can erase all those atrocities. Shameless idiot.

    • Please Go and be her friend, do you know how many lives of Nigerians Abacha wasted? Do you know that the duo of Abacha and Babangida plunged us to this mess we are in today? One word describes Abacha: evil.

  2. May. His soul remain in perfect peace. May Almighty forgive his Sins. every soul shall test trauma of death. we lost a true leader. He was ready to sacrifice for his Nation to be civilized and self reliant.

    • You are definitely insane, and very wicked. So you believe Abacha’s sins should be forgiven now, ba? What about all those ppl who are still laboring under the yoke of Abach’s various criminal activities? The children without their fathers, mothers, relatives? Nigerians that are still suffering serious ailments inflicted on them by Abacha’s killer squard? or you idiots believe Nigerians have forgotten those crimes? You are a bastard !!!

    • Is it their faults? It’s definitely not, so why wont the idiots be gallivanting around spending our stolen money, and opening their rotten mouths to say rubbish. It is the fault of various corrupt govts we have had who refused to charge all the Abacha family members as accessory for the crimes he committed. His wife was part and parcel of all those crimes, and shes here attempting to place victimized saint. Her children were directly involved in torturing Nigerians held in their secret prison located in Lagos, Abuja n other places. If it were to be a country of law and order, this woman should not even have a roof over her head, not to talk of her collecting pension and other benefits accorded to her monster husband as head of state. How are we not surprised that there is still a high rate of criminal activities in govt? If the Abachas and their accomplices were dealt with, other would have learnt and be better behaved, but they have all got away with their various crimes, so, why wont they be saying nonsensical trash?

  3. No sane person should be talking like Maryam is doing. She needs immediate evaluation. I’m really worried about the state of her mind. Maryam appears to have lost it big time. Abacha is not what? She sounds deeply deluded or hallucinatory. Let someone come to her rescue. Only fools doubt valid proofs. I mean with all these dollars being recovered, someone is still expressing doubts, she should be helped right on time please.

    • She knows precisely what shes talking about. Don’t ever think she is insane or anything. She is just basking in the knowledge that she is untouchable, because she was never questioned or charged for being a criminal accomplice to her husband. She is aware of where all the money is, even the ones that have not been discovered, and she is spending it all alone, but she is mad that she can’t openly display the wealth or use it openly to gather the usual political sycophants who will sing her husband’s praises and make him into a saint. She is handicapped by the fact that if she tries to openly lavish wealth, Nigerians will shout and her sources will be discovered. She is just trying to test the waters to see if some ppl will gravitate towards her, and her family.

  4. Maryam Abacha, bury your head in shame. Sanni Abacha is a thief! The only man taking sides with him (PMB) is unearthing and recovering his huge loot to his chagrin/ dismay. What other proof do you need to know you married a corrupt cretinous dark-goggled murderer? The word thief should not sound confusing to you, except if senility is already setting in. For clarity, you see people coming up with variants and synonyms, which are weightier: LOOTER/ ROBBER. Any of it will fit Sanni the son of Abacha very well in his shallow grave. He was a rabid financial Covid-19, if you want his full testimonial. May Nigeria never meet his kind again.
    What has Kano people got to do with his corruption? Did they send him? You sound so hypocritically self-righteous, that if the full weight of Sharia were to be applied, your limbs and feet would have been chopped off by now, if not a worse penalty as becoming a fellow thief with your husband.
    Nigerians are rather feeling betrayed that Sanni hid under dark goggles perpetrating fraud and wickedness, while pretending to be patriotic. He is a classical/ prototype of a toxic, opaque and shadowy leader. Once again, may Nigeria NEVER suffer the misfortune of meeting his kind. In fact I hate to use the word his for the scoundrel. It would appear more appropriate for the unrepentant thief and his clan. In Abacha, we once had a thief personified. Why did it take you this long to be advocating for the light fingered nuisance called husband? Perhaps you still don’t understand Sanni was a BARAWO!

  5. You know folks, coming to think of it . All she’s saying is that our present leaders are pinning on everything on a dead man . Babangida is alive and no more has been traced to him till date; all the guys that served from 80 till date are still alive and some still ruling us. Please think deep about what this woman is saying.

    • If she really has something to say or do an expose, then she should do that in person or at least use a proxy to help Nigeria recover the rest of Babangida’s loot, and expose all other theives who are hiding their loots. This is not a time for talking in parables, Nigeria needs all the resources stolen and scattered around the world. She knows where all Abach’s loot is hidden, and she will ofcourse have her own private stash somewhere as well. Even though Abacha’s loot released so far has been redistributed to other thieves, Nigerians have a right to at least know what each thief stole and where it is being hidden. This woman needs to be questioned.

  6. The woman should just shut up and let the sleeping dog lie. If the money is not her husband’s why is her son fighting to keep the money? Where did Abacha had all the money to have all the properties in his name? As a military officer his income can be worked out from day 1 till final day. Where is the huge, very huge excesses coming from? Madam that many of those who benefitted from you and your husband Abandoned you such is life. It happens to everybody once in power. Ask Obasanjo and the rest of them.

  7. This woman should just leave this matter. I give her the benefit of doubt that she may not know what her husband was doing; after all soldiers don’t tell their wives that they are planning a coup until, like the rest of us, they hear their names on national television and radios amidst martial music.

    If others stole and stashed away the moneys in the name of her husband, then what of all those numerous failed court cases by her sons to try to keep the moneys to the family? Were the kids impostors too?? Madam should help me answer this question….

  8. In Nigeria, thieves are only the ones that get caught on the street for stealing foods, petty cash etc, not the big men that has billions of country money found in their possession

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