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Nigeria's Umar Dikko dies at 78; once found drugged in crate at UK airport in govt kidnap

His family says a Nigerian politician who made front-page news when he was discovered drugged in a crate at a British airport has died in London.

The family said Umar Dikko, 78, died at his London home Tuesday after suffering successive strokes.

Dikko made headlines around the world in 1984 when he was found in a crate marked for Lagos at London's Stansted Airport. He was assumed to be the victim of a kidnap plot by Nigeria's new military government, which accused him of embezzlement.

Dikko had been the transport minister in a civilian government ousted in a 1983 coup.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he was saddened by the death of the elder statesmen who had "continued to actively contribute to the nurturing and strengthening of democracy in Nigeria."