What is Sani Abacha Net Worth Before His Death In June 8, 1998?

Last updated on July 28th, 2022 at 11:49 am


In death, some officeholders in Nigeria are still richer than the millions of living souls, that’s the story of Nigeria’s late despot Sani Abacha whose illegally acquired monies, several years after his demise, are still being repatriated to the country he ruled like his personal business.

When Mohammed Abacha voluntarily agreed to return $1.2 billion illegally acquired by his father some year back, the entire world was baffled.

Mohammed is the son of Nigeria’s former military Head of State Late Gen. Sani Abacha. Everyone was wondering about the huge amount the late military dictator had before he died. In this post, we’ll tell you Sani Abacha’s net worth before his death in 1998.


There is another report that a US Senator opposed the transfer of N117 Billion Abacha loot to Nigeria, more about this report is at

In one of its reports, one of the global wealth/asset rating firms Forbes claimed that African presidents: past and present are the richest people on the continent, but they are not rated by Forbes because most of them acquire wealth by converting state resources into their personal use.

Base on this, we will gauge Sani Abacha’s net worth on the huge amount of dollars, Pound sterling traced to him, which were held in personal and proxy bank accounts in tax havens-compliant countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg, Jersey and Liechtenstein etc.

Is Sani Abacha from Kano State?

Only a few people know that Sani Abacha isn’t from Kano State as claimed by several online publications. The late despot and his wife Dr Maryam Abacha are from Borno State, the North-East geo-political zone of Nigeria.

While General Sani Abacha is a Kanuri man in the Nganzai Local Government, his wife Maryam is a Shuwa in the Jere Local Government Area in Borno. The two ethnic groups are popular in the Northern region.

However, the late Abacha was born on September 20, 1943, in Kano State. He’s Kano origin by birth. He grew up there and he subsequently adopted the Northern commercial city as his state

Also Read:  Meet Clarence Moses-EL who spent 28 years in Jail Because A Woman Dreamt He Raped Her

How Abacha came to power

Late Sani Abacha joined the Nigerian Army, attending Nigerian Military Training College in Kaduna and was commissioned in 1963 after he attended Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England.

His active roles in major coups in Nigeria

The late Army General was described as being ruthless and fearless even as a junior officer back in the 1960s, as such he played major roles in some of the coups in Nigeria, some of them are:

July 29, 1966 coup: He played a major role in the July 1966 counter-coup that ended the military regime of Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi. He was a young Second Lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion in Kaduna.

December 31, 1983 Coup: He was instrumental in bringing Maj General Muhammadu Buhari to power after ending the civilian regime of the Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who was a few weeks into his second term. August 27, 1985 coup: Buhari who in a nationwide broadcast on January 1, 1984, said, “Happy New Year, happy New government” was also removed by some cabals who brought him to office. Late Abacha was a key player in the coup.

How Sani Abacha was compensated after removing Buhari from power in 1985

Late Sani Abacha was rewarded handsomely for his role in ending the regime of Maj-Gen Buhari in 1985.

The new military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida appointed him the new Chief of Army of Staff.

Later in the year, he was appointed the Minister of Defence.

How he benefited from 1993 presidential election annulment

It is on record that the late military dictator was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the 1993 presidential election annulment.

After the annulment of the election which late M.K.O Abiola won, Babangida had to step aside, handing over power to Chief Ernest Shonekan as interim president of Nigeria on August 26, 1993.

Knowing full well that it was his opportunity, Abacha executed a palace coup against Shonekan.

In the announcement that followed, Late Sanni Abacha in a nationwide broadcast said:

…consequently, the following decision comes to immediate effect. The Interim National Government is hereby dissolved. The national and state assemblies are also dissolved.

The state executive councils are dissolved, the brigade commanders are to take over from governors in their state until military administrators are appointed….”

Also Read:  Meet Ismaila Mustapha Mompha, Accused of Making Illicit Billionaires From BDC Operations

That announcement on November 17, 1993, paved the way for Late Sani Abacha to acquire for himself and members of his families, cronies, and friends billions of dollars and other currencies of state funds for their personal use.

How Abacha amass wealth

A 42-page document that leaked in 2014 detailed how Sani Abacha acquired his wealth.

The document was tendered at the United States District Court of Columbia by the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice.

The document detailed how billions of dollars were diverted to foreign accounts just like the former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe who acquired several multi-million dollars properties around the World.

Those who allegedly assisted Sani Abacha in siphoning money abroad:

  • The late son of the ruler Ibrahim Abacha;
  • His second son, Mohammed Abacha;
  • His associate Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; (now a governor)
  • Former National Security Adviser (NSA), Ismaila Gwarzo;
  • Alhaji Ahmadu Daura;
  • Then Minister of Finance, Chief Anthony Ani;
  • Lawyer and associate of the Abacha family, David Umaru

According to another publication on USA Africa Dialogue Series, late General Sani Abacha started accumulating the money he put in Western Banks immediately after he took over power

He allegedly stole money from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through presidential order under the guise of “National Security”

Timeline of how Sani Abacha moved monies out of CBN vaults:

For a better understanding and to know the enormous huge amount of monies that were stolen by the late Head of State we use today’s exchange rate to convert them to Naira.

The Governor of Kebbi State Abubakar Bagudu was one of his networks believed he used to loot and siphon Nigeria’s treasury abroad.

DateAmount collected from CBN (in Dollars and Pounds)Naira value today
March 25, 1994$37.6 million13,536,000,000
February 15, 1995$4 million1,440,000,000
February 15, 1995£2 million948,453,840
February 17, 1995$4 million1,440,000,000
February 17, 1995£2 million948,453,840
February 27, 1995$4 million1,440,000,000
February 27, 1995£2 million948,453,840
July 8, 1995$5 million1,800,000,000
July 8, 1995£4 million1,896,900,000
December 29, 1995$5 million1,800,000,000
March 28, 1996$3.801 million1,368,360,000
May 29, 1996$12.5 million4,500,000,000
June 20, 1996$10 million3,600,000,000
June 20, 1996£5 million2,371,125,000
August 20, 1996$30 million10,800,000,000
August 20, 1996£15 million7,113,403,800
September 24, 1996:$50 million18,000,000,000
September 30, 1996$50 million18,000,000,000
September 30, 1996£3 million1,422,680,760
October 14, 1996$5 million1,800,000,000
November 11, 1996$5 million1,800,000,000
November 11, 1996£3 million1,422,680,760
February 18, 1997$6 million2,160,000,000
February 28, 1997$3 million1,080,000,000
March 3, 1997$3.27 million1,177,200,000
March 6, 1997$1.21 million435,600,000
April 22, 1997$60 million21,600,000,000
April 28, 1997$60 million21,600,000,000
April 28, 1997£30 million14,226,807,600
June 30, 1997$4.9 million1,764,000,000
July 9, 1997$5 million1,800,000,000
July 9, 1997£2 million948,453,840
August 8, 1997$10 million3,600,000,000
October 18, 1997$12.3 million4,428,000,000
October 21, 1997£5.88 million2,788,443,000
October 23, 1997£14.76 million6,999,589,339
October 29, 1997£11.76 million5,576,908,579
November 14, 1997$10 million3,600,000,000
November 26, 1997$24 million8,640,000,000
December 10, 1997$24 million8,640,000,000
December 18, 1997£6.15 million2,916,495,558

The total of the above accumulation runs into Trillions of Naira plus other unaccounted for. Some of his properties are still all over the world controlled by his family members.

Also Read:  Profile: Contribution of Emilie Choi to Cryptocurrency Sector

47 Foreign Banks Accounts Linked To Sani Abacha:

  1. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, ANZ, London branch
  2. ANZ, New York
  3. ANZ, Frankfurt
  4. Bank in Liechtenstein A. G. Vaduz
  5. Bank Len, Zurich
  6. Bankers Trust Company, London
  7. Bankers Trust Company, Frankfurt
  8. Bankers Trust Company, New York
  9. Banque Barring Brothers, Geneva
  10. Barclays Bank, New York
  11. Barclays Bank, London
  12. Banque Edouard Constant, General
  13. Banque Nationale De Paris, Geneva
  14. Banque Nationale De Paris, London
  15. Banque Nationale De Paris, Basle
  16. Citibank N. A. London
  17. Citibank N. A. New York
  18. Citibank N. A. Luxembourg
  19. Citibank Zurich
  20. Credit Lyonnais , New York Credit Suisse , New York
  21. Credit Suisse, General
  22. Credit Suisse, Zurich
  23. Deutche Morgan Grenfell, Jersey
  24. FIBI Bank (Schweiz) A. G. Zurich
  25. First Bank of Boston , London
  26. First Bank of Nigeria Plc, London
  27. Goldman Sachs and Company, Zurich
  28. Gothard Bank, Geneva
  29. Inland Bank ( Nigeria ) Plc, Lagos
  30. LGT Liechtenstein Bank, Vaduz
  31. Liechtenstein Landesbank, Vaduz (M. Warburg and Company, Luxembourg, M. Warburg and Company, Zurich, M. Warburg and Company, Hamburg)
  32. Merrill Lynch Bank, New York
  33. Merrill Lynch Bank, Geneva
  34. Midland Bank, London
  35. National Westminister Bank, London
  36. Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant Bank Limited, Lagos
  37. Paribus, London
  38. Paribus, Geneva
  39. Royal Bank of Scotland , Leeds
  40. Standard Bank London Limited, London
  41. UBS AG, Zurich
  42. UBS AG, Geneva
  43. Union Bancaire Privee, Geneva
  44. Union Bancaire Privee, London
  45. Union Bank of Nigeria, London Branch
  46. Universal Trust Bank of Nigeria Limited, Lagos
  47. Verwaltungs Und Private Bank A. G., Vaduz

Amount recovered

Up till now, no one can precisely say the exact amount of billions of dollars of Abacha loot that was recovered. He’s simply like the former Zimbabwe president Rober Mugabe whose wealth can not be ascertained because they’re secretly located around the world.

There have been serious and most horrific revelations that officials of government during the past administration even “stole” part of the fund after they were recovered from foreign accounts.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has equally recovered $350 million of Abacha loot (around N115 billion at the time) which he invested in the National Social Intervention Programme (NSIP).

More details on this can be found at the regime of former Nigerian leader whom Abacha jailed, Olusegun Obasanjo, a series of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Abacha family, Abacha’s first son, Mohammed returned $1.2 billion to the Nigerian government in 2002. But would the world have known the level of Sani Abacha’s wealth if he hasn’t died? 

Above all, Sani Abacha’s net worth is unquantifiable. To date, fresh facts about his hidden monies are emerging since he died in 1998. He’s one of Nigeria’s leaders that can never be forgotten. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top