BACKGROUND TO THE KILLING

In May 1996, the month before Kudirat Abiola was mercilessly gunned down, she had been briefly detained for a few hours for allegedly possessing publications critical of the Nigerian military government headed by General Sani Abacha. Although her husband and billionaire businessman, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, was already jailed over charges of treason, Kudirat became the tireless advocate for his freedom and return of his mandate. The beautiful woman soon became one of the most dreaded foes of Abacha.

THE D-DAY

On a Tuesday, 4th of June, 1996, around 3:05 pm one of the most senseless murders in Nigeria was carried out. A sparkling white Mercedes Benz was cruising along the streets of Lagos. As the car slowed down around 7-Up Depot/Bus Stop in Ikeja, they were attacked by six men who suddenly opened fire on the German machine: Mrs. Abiola, her assistant (who had just been released by the police) and chauffeur were in the car.

The assassins approached her car and opened a volley of gunfire. The vehicle came to a halt as the driver was hit. A bullet flying from nowhere lodged itself in Kudirat’s forehead, penetrating her skull and smashing her brain. The trauma must have been too much for the poor woman. She lost consciousness and was rushed in that state to the Eko Hospital for urgent medical attention. All efforts made by the medical team to save her life failed. Kudirat Abiola died, with a gaping bullet wound on her forehead. She was 44. Her driver too did not survive the attack. Both were shot at close range.

-After the assassination of Kudirat Abiola at the age of 44, his government announced a $45,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her killers. Abacha blamed terrorism and the increasing crime rate in the country for her assassination.

Mrs. Abiola was with her assistant and driver on the streets of Lagos, while in her white Mercedes Benz, they were attacked by six (some say three) men in a vehicle driven by Mohamed Abdulof, who rained bullets on them with a Belgium-made FN P90 submachine gun/compact assault rifle which is quite unconventional.

Her driver was shot and he died while her personal assistant, Michael Adesina, was unhurt. She died from gunshot injuries to the forehead. She was rushed to the Eko Hospital after the attack. Before the killing, Kudirat Abiola had complained of threats to her life and that she was being trailed by unknown men. In May 1996, a month to her killing, she was arrested and detained briefly for possessing publications that were deemed critical of the Abacha junta.

 

Read more at the source: Online Nigeria

 

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