TODAY IN HISTORY: Military Govt Commute Death Verdict On Oladipo Diya, Others On Plot To Oust Abacha

On July 9, 1998, the military government commuted the death sentences of General Oladipo Diya and five other men convicted of plotting to overthrow then Nigerian Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

Oladipo Diya, Abacha's 2nd in Command is Dead - THE LEGISLATURE

Earlier on December 21, 1997, Diya who was the Chief of General Staff and second in command during the regime along with some officers, were arrested at different locations in the country on allegations of plotting a coup to topple Abacha.

Later, on April 28, 1998, a military tribunal headed by General Victor Malu sentenced General Diya and others to death.

Malu and his unconfirmed verdict on Diya and others - TheCable

Those sentenced to death were:

1. Lt-Gen. Oladipo Diya - former Vice Chairman, Provisional Ruling Council, and Chief of General Staff

2. Major General Abdulkareem Adisa - former Minister of Works and Housing

3. Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju - former Minister of Communications

4. Major Seun Fadipe - Chief Security Officer to Diya

5. Col. Olu Akinyode - former Military Assistant to General Olanrewaju

6. Bola Adebanjo - civil engineer and associate of Diya.

The confirmation by the Provisional Council would have led to the execution of General Diya and others on the night of June 8 or the following day, June 9 but something big happened - a miracle of sort. In the early hours of Monday, June 8, 1998, General Sani Abacha died!


The Provisional Ruling Council met that day, not to deliberate on General Malu's report, but to select General Abdulsalami Abubakar as the new Head of State and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Then, on July 9 of that year, the Provisional Ruling Council headed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar commuted the death sentences passed on Generals Diya and others to jail terms.

Other key events on this day

1. US President, Zachary Taylor, died unexpectedly - 1850

2. Wimbledon tournament began - 1877

3. 7 died in a stampede to see Pope John Paul II in Brazil - 1980

4. Kwame Nkrumah buried in Nkroful in his native Ghana - 1972

5. U.S. took San Francisco from Mexico - 1846

6. The African Union was established -2002

7. British battleship HMS Vanguard exploded at Scapa Flow, killing 804 - 1917

8. South Sudan gained independence and seceded from Sudan - 2011

9. Italy won the World Cup 5-3 vs. France during extra time - 2006.


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