Surgeon jailed over death of First Lady

The conviction of a Spanish plastic surgeon has finally cleared up the mysterious death of Nigeria's former First Lady four years ago at an exclusive Mediterranean clinic.

Stella Obasanjo, wife of then president Olesegun, died suddenly in October 2005 after a brief visit to Marbella. Initially the 59-year-old's death was blamed on a chronic asthma attack but it is now clear that she died after a liposuction operation went catastrophically wrong.

Yesterday a court in Malaga convicted cosmetic surgeon Antonio Mena Molina of negligent homicide, sentencing him to a year in prison, fining him €120,000 (£110,000) and banning him from practising medicine for three years.

Mrs Obasanjo was the highest profile and most glamorous of the Nigerian president's five wives. Known to many at home as "Greedy Stella", she preferred the title "mother of the nation".

During her treatment at the Molding, Marbella's biggest plastic surgery clinic, the court heard that a tube used to remove fat was placed by mistake in the patient's abdominal cavity, puncturing her colon and cutting into her liver.

Two days after the operation, nurses became concerned but were unable to find the surgeon who had switched off his phone. When they reached him, the patient was bleeding profusely but Mr Molina drove her to hospital in his car rather than calling an ambulance. She was pronounced brain dead on arrival.

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