Obasanjo spoke while leading morning devotion to mark Valentine’s Day at his Presidential Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
“My saddest day was when I sat in front of a military panel set up by late former Head of State, Sani Abacha to try me over a phantom coup, and sentenced to death and later commuted to 30 years imprisonment.” While speaking, he also read from the Bible book of Isaiah 45:1-4 and spoke of how when the jail term was given, he had asked himself if he deserved the treatment meted to him, but that he left everything in the hand of God.
He also revealed how following pressure from international community leaders including former American president, Jimmy Carter, the Abacha regime reduced his sentence to 15 years. However, when Abacha died, he spent only three years in prison. When he left prison, he said he met an agitation for him to contest for president, adding, “but the rest is history.”