March 26, 2023

Oladipo Diya: Life and time of general accused of coup plot by Abacha

Oladipo Diya: Life and time of general accused of coup plot by Abacha

By Biodun Busari

Former Chief of Staff, Gen Oladipo Diya, who served as de facto Vice President to the late Gen Sani Abacha, died Sunday.

His death was confirmed by his son, Prince Oyesinmilola Diya.

Diya would go down in the history of Nigeria as one of the famous military generals and vice presidents.

Here are some popular moments of the late Diya.

He was born in Odogbolu, Ogun State on 3 April 1944 and died on 26 March 2023, making him depart to the great beyond at 79.

The late general joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.

He later attended the United States Army School of Infantry, the Command and Staff College, Jaji 1980 to 1981) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.

He was the Sole Administrator/Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985, during the military regime of Muhammadu Buhari.

Diya studied Law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained an LLB degree, and then at the Nigerian Law School, where he was called to bar as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He emerged as the deputy military president to Abacha from 1993 to 1997.

His office as the second-in-command was truncated when he was arrested and accused of treason for allegedly plotting a coup against his principal, Abacha.

On 21 December 1997, Abacha accused and arrested him and other top military officials including Maj-Gen Tajudeen Olanrewaju, and Maj-Gen Abdulkarim Adisa, among others.

Prior to his arrest, Diya had cheated death by allegedly missing a bomb explosion at Abuja International Airport.

In 1997 Diya and his colleagues were tried in a military tribunal and initially sentenced to death, but later commuted to a 25-year jail term.

Upon the untimely death of Abacha in 1998, Diya was pardoned by the late Head of State’s successor, Abdusalami Abubakar.