Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, simply known as IBB is arguably the richest Nigerian politician ever. He was very popular during the military regime as a “no nonsense” military man. He was the Chief of Army staff between January 1984 – August 1985; a position succeeded by Lt. General Sani Abacha. He left office (to some people, for good) in August 27, 1993, having annulled the elections held on June 12 that year. IBB was a key player in most of the military coups in Nigeria; and during his times in office, there was and there is still evidence of severe human rights abuses during his regime.
Ibrahim Babangida was born on August 17, 1941 in Minna, Niger State. His parents are Muhammad and Aisha Babangida. He attended the Provincial Secondary School, Bida. After his secondary school, he joined the Nigeria army on December 10, 1962 and went ahead to attain military ranks such as the Second Lieutenant(1963), Lieutenant (1966), Captain (1968), Lieutenant Colonel (1970), Colonel (1973), Brigadier (1979), Major General (1983), and General (1987).
On September 6, 1969, he married Maryam (née King) Babangida (First Lady of Nigeria 1985-93) who was respected and commended for turning “First Lady” from just a title, to an office. They had four children together: Muhammadu, Aminu, Aishatu, and Halimatu. Maryam Babangida died from complications of ovarian cancer on December 27, 2009. IBB legalized the formation of political parties in 1989 but annulled the election MKO Abiola won in June 12, 1993; an annulment which caused so much trouble, the day “June 12” is still remembered today.
IBB is believed to have looted, during his regime as the military head of state, over $14 Billion earned during the 1992 Gulf War oil windfall. He is reported to own over 20 buildings (real estate investments) in different parts of the country and over 42 buildings (real estate investments) around the world. He owns a multi-million dollar mansion in Niger state.
He reportedly owns about 65% of Fruitex International Limited in London. He owns 24% of Globacam, the second biggest telecommunications company in Nigeria.