Death has been announced of the former Chief of General Staff in the Sani Abacha regime, Lt- General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (Rtd) GCON.

Gen. Diya who was the former governor of Ogun State between 1984 and 1985, died in the early hours of 26th March 2023, at the age of 78 years.

Barrister Prince Oyesinmilola Diya who announced Gen. Diya’s demise said more information will be made public in due course.

As the Chief of General Staff to Sani Abacha, Gen. Diya was the de facto Vice-president in the military regime.

He fell out of favour in 1997 when he was accused of plotting with some other senior soldiers to overthrow the government of Abacha.

Diya, who was incacerated, was subsequently tried by a military tribunal and given the death penalty.

Upon Abacha’s death in 1998, Diya was pardoned by Abacha’s successor, Abdusalami Abubakar. But he was stripped of his military rank. His rank was later restored by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Diya who served as Chief of Defence Staff was born on April 3, 1944 at Odogbolu. He was educated at the Methodist Primary School, Lagos and the Odogbolu Grammar School.

After his secondary education, he joined the army and was a combatant during the Nigerian Civil War.

Diya was Commander 31 Airborne Brigade. He became General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigeria Army in 1985. General Oladipo Diya was Commandant, National War College (1991–1993) and was appointed Chief of Defence Staff.

He 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.


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