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Body of Nigerian first lady returns home

Posted by Mail & Guardian on 2005/10/24 | Views: 1101 |

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Body of Nigerian first lady returns home


The body of the wife of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo was set to leave Spain on Monday afternoon for Abuja, a day after she died in the southern resort of Marbella, Nigerian officials said.

The body of the wife of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo was set to leave Spain on Monday afternoon for Abuja, a day after she died in the southern resort of Marbella, Nigerian officials said.

"We are expecting that Her Excellency will arrive in Abuja today, late in the evening," said Obasanjo's spokesperson, Remi Oyo.

Stella Obasanjo died on Sunday and an autopsy was carried out, but the sources were unable to comment on the findings.

The Nigerian Presidency announced that the country's first lady died after undergoing surgery at the age of 59, without giving further details.

"God gave her to me and he has taken her and glory be to his name," Obasanjo said at a reception on Monday.

"We haven't had anything yet" on the autopsy, diplomatic sources said, adding simply that the body "should be on the way to Malaga from Marbella" from where it would be transferred directly to Abuja.

Before coming to power in 1999, in an election that marked the end of military rule, Obasanjo was known to have had several wives.

But after he took up his duties as president, Stella was recognised as his official wife.

A Spanish diplomat said in Madrid that Nigeria's first lady had been "on a private visit" to the seaside resort of Marbella, near Malaga, where she was hospitalised.

A source close to a local undertaker said she had been admitted to Marbella's Molding clinic in the Puerto Banus area, which performs plastic surgery.

From there, she was taken to Marbella's Europa hospital where she died, the source said on condition of anonymity.

According to hospital sources quoted by Spanish media, she appeared to have gone into an "advanced stake of shock" during surgery at a private clinic and did not recover. -- Sapa-AFP

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