Lt. General Oladipo Diya, a former Chief of Staff under the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, has died aged 79.
In a statement by his son, Oyesinmilola Diya, on Sunday morning, the late general died in the early hours of Sunday.
“On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; we announce the passing on to glory of our dear husband, father, grandfather, brother, Lt-General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni,” the statement read.
“Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023. Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.”
Born on April 3, 1944 at Odogbolu in Ogun State, the former Chief of General Staff joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.
Diya was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1993 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994. He was second in command and the de facto vice president of Nigeria under Abacha from 1994 as the Chief of the General Staff.
He was arrested and sentenced to death for alleged treason in 1997.
Diya was tried in a military tribunal where he was given the death penalty.
Abacha died before Diya’s execution date and the administration of Abdulsalami Abubakar commuted the sentence and the general was released.
During his time in the army, Diya also served as chief of defence staff and was the military governor of Ogun state from January 1984 to August 1985.
He lost his wife, Folashade, in 2020.