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Biography of Oladipo Diya

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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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Biography of Olabisi Onabanjo

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Victor Olabisi Onabanjo (1927–1990) was governor of Ogun State in Nigeria from October 1979 – December 1983, during the Nigerian Second Republic. He was of Ijebu extraction.

Background

Oloye Victor Olabisi Onabanjo was born in 1927 in Lagos. He was educated in Lagos and at the Regent Street Polytechnic in the United Kingdom, where he studied journalism between 1950 and 1951. He worked as a journalist for several years before becoming a full-time politician. His column Aiyekooto (parrot – known for telling the plain truth) appeared in the Daily Service and Daily Express newspapers between 1954 and 1962.

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Victor Olabisi Onabanjo (1927–1990) was governor of Ogun State in Nigeria from October 1979 – December 1983, during the Nigerian Second Republic. He was of Ijebu extraction.

Oloye Victor Olabisi Onabanjo was born in 1927 in Lagos. He was educated in Lagos and at the Regent Street Polytechnic in the United Kingdom, where he studied journalism between 1950 and 1951. He worked as a journalist for several years before becoming a full time politician. His column Aiyekooto (parrot – known for telling the plain truth) appeared in the Daily Service and Daily Express newspapers between 1954 and 1962.

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Olabisi Onabanjo was elected chairman of the Ijebu Ode Local Government Area in 1977 under the tutelage of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was elected governor of Ogun State in October 1979 on the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) platform.  He was known as an unpretentious and plain-speaking man, and his administration of Ogun State was considered a model at the time and later.

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On May 13, 1982 he commissioned Ogun Television.  The Ogun State University, founded on 7 July 1982 was renamed Olabisi Onabanjo University on May 29, 2001 in his memory. He established the Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, but General Oladipo Diya who became military governor in 1983 closed the school down, only to be re-opened after the return to democracy in 1999.

Political career

Olabisi Onabanjo was elected chairman of the Ijebu Ode Local Government Area in 1977 under the tutelage of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was elected governor of Ogun State in October 1979 on the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) platform. He was known as an unpretentious and plain-speaking man, and his administration of Ogun State was considered a model at the time and later.

On May 13, 1982 he commissioned Ogun Television. The Ogun State University, founded on 7 July 1982 was renamed Olabisi Onabanjo University on May 29, 2001 in his memory. He established the Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, but General Oladipo Diya who became military governor in 1983 closed the school down, only to be re-opened after the return to democracy in 1999.

Later career

After the military take-over in December when General Muhammadu Buhari took power, he was thrown in jail for several years. After release, he returned to journalism, publishing his Aiyekooto column in the Nigerian Tribune from 1987 to 1989.

Death

Onabanjo died on April 14, 1990. Selected articles from his column were published in a book in 1991.

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Emeka Ojukwu: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow

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Have you ever seen a child born with a silver spoon with unlimited access to his father’s wealth, yet choose to snub these rights and start a life of his own accord? Don’t ponder too deeply but read on about the life of one of Nigeria’s powerful men who influenced her history: Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION

Emeka Ojukwu was born on November 4, 1933, in Zungeru, present-day Niger State, Northern Nigeria to Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu (1908-1966), a businessman from Nnewi, present-day Anambra State in South-Eastern Nigeria. Ojukwu Snr. was into the transport business; he took advantage of the business boom during the Second World War to become one of the richest men in Nigeria. Ojukwu started his secondary school education at the C.M.S Grammar School, Lagos, at the age of 10 in 1943. He later transferred to King’s College, Lagos, in 1944 where he was involved in a controversy leading to his brief imprisonment for assaulting a white British colonial teacher who humiliated a black woman.

At 13, his father sent him overseas to study in the United Kingdom, first at Epsom College and later at Lincoln College, Oxford University, where he earned a master’s degree in History. Ojukwu then returned to colonial Nigeria in 1956.

MILITARY CAREER

Ojukwu joined the military, against the wishes of his father, receiving his commission in March 1958, as a 2nd Lieutenant from Eaton Hall. He was one of the first and few university graduates to join the army as a recruit. Upon completion of further military training, he was assigned to the Army’s Fifth Battalion in Kaduna. Emeka Ojukwu’s background and education guaranteed his promotion to higher ranks. At that time, the Nigerian Military Forces had 250 officers and only 15 were Nigerians. After serving in the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Congo, under Major-General Johnson Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, Ojukwu was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1964 and posted to Kano, where he was in charge of the 5th Battalion of the Nigerian Army.

He was in Kano when the January 15, 1966 coup was executed.

EMEKA OJUKWU AS MILITARY GOVERNOR

On January 17, 1966, Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was appointed Military Governor of the Eastern Region. Four months later in May 1966, there was a pogrom in Northern Nigeria during which Nigerians of Eastern origin were targeted and killed. This presented problems for Emeka Ojukwu. He did everything in his power to prevent reprisals and even encouraged his people to return to the North, as assurances for their safety had been given by his supposed colleagues up north.

THE NORTHERN COUNTER-COUP

On July 29, 1966, a group of officers, including Majors Murtala Muhammed, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, and Martin Adamu, led the majority of the Northern soldiers in a mutiny that later developed into a “counter-coup”. The coup failed in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria where Lieutenant-Colonel Emeka Ojukwu was the military Governor, due to the effort of the brigade commander and hesitation of Northern officers stationed in the region (partly due to the mutiny leaders in the East being Northern whilst being surrounded by a large Eastern population).

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The Supreme Commander General Aguiyi-Ironsi and his host, Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi were abducted and killed in Ibadan. On acknowledging Ironsi’s death, Ojukwu insisted that the military hierarchy be preserved. In that case, the most senior army officer after Ironsi, Brigadier Babafemi Ogundipe, should take over leadership, not Colonel Yakubu Gowon (the coup plotters’ choice). However, the leaders of the counter-coup insisted that Colonel Gowon be made the Head-of-State.

Both Gowon and Ojukwu were of the same rank in the Nigeria Army then (Lieutenant-Colonel). Ogundipe could not muster enough force in Lagos to establish his authority as soldiers (Guard Battalion) available to him were under Joseph Nanven Garba who was part of the coup, it was this realisation that led Ogundipe to opt-out.

THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR

Thus, Emeka Ojukwu’s insistence could not be enforced by Ogundipe unless the coup plotters agreed (which they did not). The fallout from this led to a standoff between Emeka Ojukwu and Yakubu Gowon leading to the sequence of events that resulted in the Nigerian civil war, which lasted for 30 months.

After three years of non-stop fighting and starvation, a hole did appear in the Biafran front lines and this was exploited by the Nigerian military. As it became obvious that all was lost, Ojukwu was convinced to leave the country to avoid his certain assassination.

READ ALSO NIGERIA CIVIL WAR AND WHAT WE DIDN’T KNOW HAPPENED

On January 9, 1970, the Biafran leader handed over power to his second in command, Major-General Philip Effiong, and left for the Ivory Coast, where President Félix Houphouët-Boigny – who had recognized Biafra on May 14, 1968 – granted him political asylum.

RETURN FROM EXILE, LEGACY, AND DEATH

After 13 years in exile, the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari granted an official pardon to Ojukwu and opened the road for a triumphant return in 1982.

Emeka Ojukwu could speak Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, English, French, and Latin fluently. Interestingly, during the civil war, he always slept with his boots on.

On November 26, 2011, Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu died in the United Kingdom after a brief illness. He was 78.

Source : Gossips Blog

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Biography of Musiliu Obanikoro

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Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro (popularly known as Koro) is a Nigerian politician. He served as Senator for Lagos State from 2003–2007, and was later appointed High Commissioner to Ghana.

Background

Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro was born in Lagos. He is from Bakare family of Ita-Ado in Lagos Island, Ikare and Ilashe in Amuwo Odofin Local Government of Lagos State, the Obanikoro (Ajayi-Bembe) family of Lagos and Idoluwole (Ojo Local Government of Lagos), and the Eletu-Odibo (Oshobile) family of Isale-Eko, Lagos. He attended Saint Patrick Catholic School, Idumagbo, Lagos and Ahmadiyya College (Anwar-ul/Islam College) Agege. He worked briefly as a Clerical Officer at LSHMBS, and at Union Bank as a Clerk before traveling overseas for further studies. While in the US, he attended Texas Southern University where he earned his B.Sc degree in Public Affairs and Master’s Degree in Public Administration (M. P. A).

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He served as an intern with Houston adult Probation Department, Houston, Texas. He worked as a social worker and later as the Head of the adolescent unit with Little Flower Children Service (an agency affiliated with New York City Department of Social Service). He is an honorary citizen of Glenarden, Maryland and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Early political career

He returned to Nigeria in 1989 and started his political career immediately. He was appointed as Caretaker Committee Chairman of Surulere Local Government (National Republican Convention); he was elected as the State Deputy Chairman (NRC); appointed by Governor Otedola’s administration as Director, LASBULK (Lagos State Bulk Purchasing Corporation); and member, Lagos State Football Association. He has served as Delegate to Local Government Congress, State Congress, and National Convention. He has also served as Elected State Secretary, Justice Forum. He was also the Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government. He was a national Executive member, Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM) under the military government of General Sani Abacha.

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He was appointed State Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture in 1999 and served for four years before he was elected Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria.

Later career

In April 2007 Musiliu Obanikoro ran for governor of Lagos State on the PDP ticket, but lost the election to Babatunde Fashola of the Action Congress. The election was marred by violence. In one incident, Musiliu Obanikoro was said to have narrowly escaped death in an armed attack on his car in Ikeja. His nomination as PDP candidate was controversial. Hilda Williams, widow of the murdered Engineer Funsho Williams, had been declared winner of the Lagos PDP primaries, but the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) led by Ahmadu Ali gave the ticket to Obanikoro. The disunited PDP under Bode George also lost the Lagos State Senate and all but one House of Representatives and 37 State House of Assembly seats to the AC.

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In a newspaper interview in July 2007, Obanikoro called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Lagos State, claiming that infrastructures and values had completely collapsed.

President Umaru Yar’Adua appointed Musiliu Obanikoro as Nigerian High commissioner to Ghana in May 2008.

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