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Biography of Benjamin Adekunle



Adekunle was born in Kaduna. His father was a native of Ogbomosho, while his mother was a member of the Bachama tribe. He underwent secondary education at the government college, Okene (in present day Kogi State). He enlisted in the Nigerian Army in 1958 shortly after completing his school certificate examinations. He passed the army selection examinations and thereafter was despatched to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK, the British Army’s initial officer entry academy. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on December 15, 1960. As a platoon commander, he served in Kasai Province of Congo with the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Nigeria Regiment during his first ONUC UN peace keeping tour of duty. In 1962, Lt. Adekunle became Aide-de-Camp to the governor of the eastern region, Sir Akanu Ibiam. The following year, as a Captain, he was posted back to the Congo as Staff Captain (A) to the Nigerian Brigade HQ at Luluabourg – under Brigadier B. Ogundipe. In 1964, Major Adekunle attended the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, in India. When he returned he was briefly appointed Adjutant General at the Army Headquarters in May 1965 to replace Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, who was proceeding on a course outside the country. However, he later handed over the position to Lt. Col. James Pam and was posted back to his old Battalion (1st Bn) in Enugu as a Company Commander.

Nigerian Civil War

Adekunle later assumed command of the Lagos Garrison as a substantive Lt. Col. When the Nigerian Civil War erupted in July 1967, Adekunle was tasked to lead elements which included two new battalions (7th and 8th) – to conduct the historic sea borne assault on Bonny in the Bight of Benin on 26 July 1968 (carried out by Major Isaac Adaka Boro’s unit). This happened after the federal government gained confidence of most south western ethnic groups as a direct result of Biafran push to mid-west state and probe into Western region. Adekunle was promoted to Colonel after the Bonny landing.

See The Speech that Ended “BIAFRA WAR”

The 6th (under Major Jalo) and 8th (under Major Ochefu) battalions of the Lagos Garrison subsequently took part in operations to liberate the Midwest following the Biafran invasion of August 1967. The 7th (under Major Abubakar) stayed behind to hold Bonny. Because Major Jalo’s outfit was seconded to Lt. Col. Murtala Mohammed‘s 2nd Division, Adekunle was left with only the 8th Battalion at Escravos. He, therefore, protested to Army HQ and got the Lagos garrison upgraded to Brigade status through the creation of the 31 and 32 Battalions (under Majors Aliyu and Hamman, respectively). This formation, combined with elements of the Lagos garrison along the eastern seaboard, was officially designated the 3 Infantry Division.

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However, Colonel Adekunle did not think the name “3 Infantry Division” was sensational enough nor did it project the nature of the unique terrain in which his men had to fight. Therefore, without formal approval from Army HQ, he renamed it the ” 3 Marine Commando (3MCDO).” The “Black Scorpion” as he came to be known, was easily the most controversial, celebrated and mythologized figure in the war of attrition that laid the foundations for Nigeria’s contemporary crisis; and threw a wedge into the national fabric. Benjamin “Adekunle’s boys in the Midwest seized Escravos, Burutu, Urhonigbe, Owa and Aladima. They captured Bomadi and Patani, Youngtown, Koko, Sapele, Ajagbodudu, Warri, Ughelli, Orerokpe, Umutu and Itagba.

Role after the civil war

Benjamin Adekunle was promoted to Brigadier-General in 1972. After the war Adekunle was put in charge of decongesting the Lagos port that was having a chronic problem of clearing imported goods. He held this position until being put on compulsory retirement. On August 20, 1974, he was compulsorily retired from the Army.

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He attributed his problems during and after the war to his rivals in the army. In various interviews, he said there was always a rumor of coup linked to him until the army authority felt the concern to do something about it. He had large followings in both the army and public at large and was the most popular military commander during the war, apart from Obasanjo, who succeeded him and brought the war to an end with the same 3MC.

Adekunle led the Third Marine Commando Division with such great panache and determination that the foreign media, in looking for a human angle on the Biafran war, found him a ready source of news. He was a key champion of the food blockade to Biafra. In a wartime interview he had with Randolph Baumann of Stern Magazine in Igweocha (published on August 18, 1968), he stated.

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Biography of Obafemi Awolowo



Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo (Yoruba: Ọbáfẹ́mi Awólọ́wọ̀; March 6, 1909 – May 9, 1987) was a Nigerian nationalist, political writer and statesman. His first name, Obafemi, means ‘The king loves me’ and the surname Awolowo, the source of his nickname, Awo, means ‘The mystic (or mysticism) commands honour (or respect)’.

A Yoruba and native of Ikenne in Ogun State of Nigeria, he started his career,like some of his notable contemporaries, as a nationalist in the Nigerian Youth Movement of which he became Western provincial secretary, and was responsible for much of the progressive social legislation that has made Nigeria a modern nation. He was an active journalist and trade unionist as a young man, editing The Nigerian Worker amongst other publications while also organizing the Nigerian Produce Traders Association and serving as secretary of the Nigerian Motor Transport Union.

After earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Nigeria from a London University through correspondence, he went to the UK where he earned a law degree as an external student. While there, he founded the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a pan-Yoruba cultural society, which set the stage for the formation of the Action Group, a liberal nationalist political party.

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As Leader of the Group, he represented the Western Region in all the constitutional conferences intended to advance Nigeria on the path to independence. He was the first Leader of Government Business and Minister of Local Government and Finance and first Premier of the Western Region under Nigeria’s parliamentary system, from 1952 to 1959, and was the official Leader of the Opposition in the federal parliament to the Balewa government from 1959 to 1963. In addition to all these, Awolowo was the first individual in the modern era to be named Leader of the Yorubas (Yoruba: Asiwaju Omo Oodua), a title which has come over time to be conventionally ascribed to his successors as the recognized political leader of the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria.

Early life 

Obafemi Awolowo was born on March 6, 1909 in Ikenne,in present-day Ogun State of Nigeria. His father was a farmer and sawyer who died when Obafemi was about seven years old. He attended various schools, and then became a teacher in Abeokuta, after which he qualified as a shorthand typist. Subsequently, he served as a clerk at the famous Wesley college, as well as a correspondent for the Nigerian Times. It was after this that he embarked on various business ventures to help raise funds to travel to the UK for further studies.

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Following his education at Wesley College, Ibadan (a teachers’ college) in 1927, he enrolled at the University of London as an External Student. He was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) and the Bachelor of Laws by the University of London. He was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple on November 19, 1946. In 1949 Awolowo founded the Nigerian Tribune, the oldest surviving private Nigerian newspaper, which he used to spread nationalist consciousness among his fellow Nigerians.


Awolowo is best remembered for his remarkable integrity, ardent nationalism, principled and virile opposition and dogged federalistic convictions.

  • His party was the first to move the motion for Nigeria’s independence in the federal parliament and he obtained internal self-government for the Western Region in 1957.
  • He is credited with coining the name ‘naira’ for the Nigerian standard monetary unit and helped to finance the Civil War and preserve the federation without borrowing.
  • He built the Liberty Stadium in Ibadan, the first of its kind in Africa; established the WNTV, the first television station in Africa; erected the first skyscraper in tropical Africa: the Cocoa House (still the tallest in Ibadan) and ran a widely-respected civil service in the Western Region.

Awolowo was reputedly admired by Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, and some of his disciples in the South-West have continued to invoke his name and the policies of his party, the Action Group, during campaigns, while his welfarist policies have influenced politicians in most of the other geopolitical zones of the nation.

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Biography of Oladipo Diya



Donaldson Oladipo Diya (born 3 April 1944) is a retired Lt. General in the Nigerian Army. He was appointed Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985. As Chief of the General Staff, he was the de facto Vice President of Nigeria during the Sani Abacha military junta from 1994 until he was arrested for treason in 1997.[1] His Principal Staff Officer during this period was Bode George, who went on to have a stormy career with the People’s Democratic Party after democracy was restored in 1999.

Birth and education

Donaldson Oladipo Diya was born on 3 April 1944 at Odogbolu, Ogun State, then Western Region, Nigeria. He was educated at the Methodist Primary School, Lagos, the Odogbolu Grammar School, and then at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. He later attended the US Army School of Infantry, the Command and Staff College, Jaji (1980–1981) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru. While serving in the military, 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.

Military career

Oladipo Diya became Commander 31, Airborne Brigade. He was appointed Military Governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985. He became General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985. General Oladipo Diya was Commandant, National War college (1991–1993) and then was appointed as Chief of Defence Staff. He was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994.

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Death Sentence

After his arrest. A military tribunal sitting in the Nigerian town of Jos sentenced six people including Lieutenant General Oladipo Diya to death by firing squad in April 1998. The accused were brought to the main military barracks in Jos for the trial. Security was tight, and the men on trial were chained hand and foot during the proceedings. In a dramatic statement at the outset of the trial, General Diya asserted that he had been entrapped by another officer close to General Abacha, Gen. Ishaya Bamayi, who approached him with the idea of mounting a coup. Given the explosive nature of the charge, the Government then closed the trial to the public The head of the Military tribunal, General Victor Malu, the former commander of the West African regional peacekeeping force ECOMOG, responding to Lieutenant General Diya’s defence that people at the very top framed him said it was not necessary to know who had initiated the conspiracy. He noted that all Lieutenant General Diya had to do was prove that he had not been part of the plot at any stage. General Malu assured the defendants that they would given a fair trial and unlimited access to information they needed to defend themselves. This tribunal will not conduct or tolerate a trial by ambush, he said.

The South African Government questioned the secrecy surrounding the trial and warned of the probability that there could be an unfavorable reaction, both in Nigeria and internationally, to a carrying out of the sentences. The sentence was later commuted by the Head of State, Abdusalami Abubakar, who succeeded General Abacha.

Later career

Following his release General Diya has refused to co-operate with any investigations by Nigeria’s Truth and Reconciliation Tribunals into his activities while he was vice president. He has spent most of his time attempting to recover possession of various properties seized by the government on his arrest. He has made no attempt to explain how he purchased these lavish properties on the salary of a Lieutenant General.

A Lagos State High Court yesterday awarded N5.5 million in damages against General Oladipo Diya in a suit filed by one Oluwatosin Onamade alleging assault and battery by Mr. Diya, who was once the second-in-command during the military dictatorship of the late General Sani Abacha.

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In a ruling that took more than two hours to deliver, Justice Opeyemi Oke ruled that Mr. Diya was guilty of assault and unlawful seizure of the claimant’s property. The assault took place in 2008 while the claimant, Mr. Onamade, who was at the time the funeral director at LOTAD Mortuary Services owned by Mr. Diya, was in a contract renegotiation process with the former military honcho. Mr. Onamade told the court that Mr. Diya and other defendants brutalized him. Apart from Mr. Diya, other defendants in the lawsuit included Dele Obakoya, Emmanuel Ilori and Dele Oyesanya, all accomplices in the assault.

In 2010, Mr. Onomade had also accused Mr. Diya of trading in human parts through his LOTAD Mortuary firm.

Mr. Diya did not appear in court for once throughout the proceedings. But ruling on the assault case yesterday, Justice Oke described the arbitrary beating of Mr. Onamade by the hounds as “condemnable.” He noted that signed medical reports tendered before the court and supported by photographic evidence showed clearly that the claimant was severely battered.

“The claimant has alleged that he was assaulted by the defendants. The medical reports dated 14/10/2008 and signed by Dr. Somoye have confirmed the injury to the claimant in forehead and left hand,” said the judge. He added: “This was also backed up with photographs clearly showing that the claimant was assaulted. The defendants took [the] law into their hands and did the work of policemen. This action is condemnable and it is arbitrary use of powers.”

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Although the judge conceded that the defendants had a claim of financial misappropriation against the claimant, he found that they had displayed intoxication and arbitrary use of power. He stated that the defendants could have called in the police instead of resorting to self-help.

“The alleged misappropriation could have been a subject of litigation,” said the judge, instead of the defendants assuming the role of law officers.

The judge also ordered the immediate release of all personal belongings seized from the claimant during his torture. The items include a Mercedes Benz 190 model with its key, an HP laptop DV 6000, a wedding ring, a Rolex wrist watch, Reltel Nokia mobile phone, two wooden caskets, and bags containing N72, 000 in cash as well as credentials.

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Jaja Anucha Ndubuisi Wachuku (1 January 1918– 7 November 1996), Jaja was a prince from one of the locals in present day Abia State where he hailed from, he was one of many Nigerians with notable influence that has made Nigeria’s status quo a global one, to be accorded respect in the international system and organization.

The name Jaja was given to him by his grandfather, a distinguished statesman and Merchant Prince who was a friend to” King Jaja of Opobo. He also traded in the palm oil with King Jaja of Opobo. It was in the good memory of their friendship, partnership and association of the Wachuku family with King Jaja of Opobo that his grandfather named him Jaja also.

Jaja’s mother, Queen Rebecca Ngwanchiwa Wachuku was a pioneer women’s rights advocate and humane royal land-owner, it would be right to postulate that, it was on this pedestrian to which Wachuku later rod on to attaining potential greatness in his later career, diplomatically, politically also as an activist and a nationalist leader.He was a prefect at Government School Afikpo, Ebonyi State, he left there in 1930, having come first in the whole of Ogota in the first school leaving certificate exam, and this earned him a scholarship at Government College Umuahia, Abia State, from 1931 to 1936. His later years academic performance were outstanding that he had to proceed to Trinity College in Dublin where he earn a Bachelor Degree LLB in Law, and he was also an active member of “College Historical Society” the oldest university debating society in Western Europe.

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Jaja Wachuku earn himself numerous position in Nigeria’s politics, amongst these positions are; upon his return to Nigeria having completed his studies in Dublin with recorded influence in 1947, travelling in the same ship with Nnamdi Azikiwe. In the same year of Jaja’s return to Nigeria, Wachuku joined the NCNC, and was elected as the Party’s Legal Adviser and Member of the National Executive Committee.  He rose to becoming the first indigenous Speaker at the House of Representatives of Nigeria. Wachuku replaced Sir Frederic Metcalfe of Great Britain, who was Speaker of the House from 1955 to 1959. Upon independency became the first senate president, he was the one who received Nigeria’s Instrument of Independence  also known as “Freedom Charter”, on Saturday 1 October 1960 from Princess Alexandra of Kent Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain’s representative at the Nigerian Independence ceremonies.

Jaja Wachuku at 42 having being appointed as an Ambassador to the United Nations to represent Nigeria by Tafawa Balewa the then Prime minster of Nigeria, He hoisted Nigeria’s flag as the 99th member of the United Nations on 7 October 1960. Jaja stands head and shoulders above most of his African brethren at the U.N, in ability and common sense, very out spoken with professional diplomatic oratory skill and fighting the course of African Nations as noted in Balewa’s Foreign policy “Nigeria the Central of African Unity”. Wachuku, during the civil rights movement in America unwaveringly supported African Americans plus all Americans and humankind of goodwill who saw the humane, enriching need for true and respectful racial equality, it was upon his stand against racism at the United Nation General assembly meeting  when he wanted to point out a racism comment passed  during a meeting and he was not given audience to  talks, he then pretended to have sleep off and was no longer giving listening ears to whatever was discussed at the meeting.

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However, during his years as First Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister, Wachuku forged the reputed friendship with three Presidents of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, also with Martin Luther King Jr, it was with this relationship and secret diplomacy to the representative of Britain, he was able to save the life of Nelson Mandela and others that were charged by the Aparthied Government in south Africa for Treason and coup leading to death sentenced  but through the help of Jaja pronouncement was changed to life imprisonment, if not for his intervention Mandela might have long being executed. Jaja was known to defend Justice and equality of all human.

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Wachuku provoked national consciousness when he declared Lagos a “no-man’s land” meaning that it was an all Nigerian city wherein all Nigerians were entitled to equal rights not for Britain alone in one of his Nationalist lecture in Lagos, he was married with 5 kids, also after the Biafran civil war, Wachuku adopted numerous orphans, he didn’t recognised Togo in the just created opening ceremony of (OAU) because of military coup, which he stood against, and resigned from duties, surprising during the first coup he was specially protected by the military for his good deeds, Dr. Jaja Anucha Wachuku died in 1996 at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital [UNTH] in Enugu, Nigeria, at the age of 78, his memory was celebrated during president Jonathan Tenure in office.

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