The untold story of how Stella Obasanjo died

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Nigerians were sent into a morning mood when new came in that former first lady, Stella Obasanjo died on October 23, 2005 of complications from tummy tuck surgery in Spain.

The former first lady was preparing for her 60th birthday, and had gone for a cosmetic surgery at a private health clinic in Puerto Banús, Marbella.

When she initially died, the cause of her death was not immediately known, with may reasons coming as the cause of her death.

An initial post-mortem carried out over the weekend suggested Mrs Obansanjo might have died of a severe asthma attack. A more detailed, two-and-a-half hour-long, autopsy performed yesterday, gave a much clearer indication of the cause of death, said Antonio Garcia de Galvez, director of the Malaga Institute of Forensic Medicine, where the examination was carried out. The results will, however, remain secret and divulged only to the judge in charge of the investigation.

In Spain, autopsies are only court-ordered when the death is deemed to be of a suspicious nature – as in this case – or to have been caused by violence, Dr Garcia de Galvez said. Coroners investigating the cause of Mrs Obasanjo’s death are looking for evidence of possibility of medical malpractice.

Inside stories from Aso rock revealed that her husband, Olusegun Obasanjo who was then president was not aware his wife had gone for a surgery in the European nation.

Obasanjo revealed this in his autobiogrpahy my watch.

“After the internment, I decided to look into the circumstances of her death,” Mr. Obasanjo wrote on page 240 of Volume two of the book. “I found that part of her 60th birthday anniversary, which was unknown to me, was her operation for her tummy and her shape.”

Mr. Obasanjo also addressed the insinuations that his wife’s death may have been a “sacrifice” he carried out for success in his job.

“Before the verdict in Spain, I was unaware of what I came to hear later that I might have caused the death of my wife to sacrifice her for success in my job,” he wrote. “That is how wicked and satanic some Nigerians can be in their rumours and mischief.”

He referred to the doctor who carried out the surgery as “careless” and narrated how with the help of the Nigerian Embassy in Spain and the Spanish authorities, he got justice for his wife’s death.

“I instructed that the doctor and the clinic be prosecuted,” he said. “The lost life cannot be brought back but the successful prosecution would prevent carelessness and loss of life in the future.”

The doctor, according to the former president, was made to pay damages, which was collected by Olu Obasanjo, Stella’s son, and his licence withdrawn for a period of time.

The Spanish doctor who performed the operation on her was sentenced to a year in prison, for his role in her death.

In was in the cause of the sitting that further information emerged on what killed the late first lady.

The judges said the surgeon had shown carelessness and neglect.

The court heard that a tube used for removing fat had been placed by mistake into the patient’s abdominal cavity – puncturing her colon and lacerating her liver.

Mrs Obasanjo became seriously ill the following day.

But prosecutors said the surgeon initially failed to answer his mobile phone, and then waited more than four hours before driving the patient in his own car to an intensive care unit, where she died an hour later.

The doctor – identified in court documents only by the initials AM – was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for causing homicide through negligence.

He was disqualified from practising medicine for three years, and ordered to pay $176,000 (£108,000) in compensation to Mrs Obasanjo’s son.

The court said simple blood tests or an ultrasound procedure would have detected the internal injuries – which, with more time, could have been treated.

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