See How MKO Abiola’s Wife, Kudirat Abiola Was Gunned Down In Lagos

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On June 4, 1996, Kudirat Abiola was tragically shot and killed by six gunmen in Lagos. After her husband, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola was imprisoned on treason charges, Kudirat became a strong and tireless advocate for his release and the restoration of his mandate because he won the June 12, 1993 presidential election adjudged to be free and fair. Due to her activist roles, she became one of Abacha’s most formidable adversaries.

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Earlier in May, Kudirat faced charges of alleged conspiracy and making false statements against the military regime of Sani Abacha at a Lagos High Court but was acquitted. She was later charged again with the same offenses and released on bail pending her trial in July 1996.

However, events took a drastic turn. On Tuesday, June 4 that year, around 3:05 pm near the 7-Up Depot/Bus Stop in Ikeja, Kudirat and her driver were ambushed by six gunmen. They shot her at close range even as her driver was not spared. She lost consciousness from the trauma and was rushed to Eko Hospital for urgent medical attention.

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Efforts to save her by the medical team failed as she succumbed to her injuries and died. Kudirat was 44 years old at the time of her death. Also, her driver did not survive the attack. The report of her death reopened old wounds and elicited angry reactions among many Nigerians who were still trying to cope with the ill-treatment meted against Kudirat’s husband after he won the presidential election. Her death was seen as a politically motivated killing since she was seen as a threat and thorn in the flesh by the military regime.

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In response to the tragic event, General Abacha expressed condolences to the family, attributing the killing to armed bandits. However, other reports suggested that the motive behind the killing was not robbery. The brutal assassination of Kudirat still generates controversies and blame games among those close Abacha then, and it remains a big stigma associated with the military regime of that era even as her family and many Nigerians demand justice….Seê _ Morê

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