Nigerian president dies, aged 58

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The Independent Online

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has died, the President's office confirmed last night. He was 58 years old.

Mr Yar'Adua had not been seen in public since he left the country in November last year, reportedly in order to receive treatment at a Swiss clinic for an acute heart condition.

He returned to the Nigerian capital, Abuja, in February, when an ambulance transported him from Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport to the Aso Rock presidential villa. Under the terms of the Nigerian constitution, acting president Goodluck Jonathan will be sworn in as head of state.

Mr Yar'Adua came to power in May 2007, in an election highly criticised by opposition candidates and observers. His rule was characterised largely by disputes over the legality of his election, and numerous health complaints.

He leaves behind a wife, to whom he had been married since 1975, and seven children.