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Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 11:22 UK

Abacha's son 'to enter politics'

Muhammad Abacha poster
The posters do not include a party symbol

The son of Nigeria's former military ruler Sani Abacha has told the BBC he is strongly considering running for the governorship of Kano state.

The BBC's Bala Ibrahim in Kano says colourful posters of Muhammad Abacha have been put up across the city.

Muhammad Abacha spent three years in prison on charges of embezzlement before being freed in 2002.

His father ruled Nigeria from 1993 until he died in 1998. He is thought to have embezzled billions of dollars.

Mr Abacha told our correspondent he was under a lot of pressure to seek the governorship but was still consulting stakeholders.

Last month, he said he would enter politics but did not specify which office he would seek.

The next national elections are due in 2011.

Happy Eid

Our correspondent says Mr Abacha is close to the People's Democratic Party, which is in power nationally but in opposition in Kano state.

The posters from Mr Abacha wish people a happy Eid - the Muslim festival to mark the end of Ramadan. They do not include a party emblem.

Gen Sani Abacha
Sani Abacha is believed to have embezzled billions of dollars

This is something traditionally done by politicians in the majority Muslim state.

His entry into politics is generating a lot of controversy, our correspondent says.

Mr Abacha is a reserved man and this could count against him but his family's riches will help him, our correspondent says.

Swiss banks have returned millions of dollars belonging to the Abacha family to the Nigerian state but they are still hugely wealthy.

As well as the embezzlement charges, Mr Abacha was also cleared of murder by the Supreme Court in 2002, sparking street celebrations in Kano.

He had been accused of ordering the murder of the wife of Moshood Abiola, who is believed to have won the 1993 elections which were annulled by the military, before Sani Abacha seized power.

Mr Abiola died in prison in 1998 just a month after Gen Abacha.



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