General Oladipo Diya, who served as chief of the general staff under military head of state General Sani Abacha, has died at the age of 78.
He would have been 79 on April 3, eight days from his death on Sunday, March 29.
Diya’s death was announced in a statement on Sunday by his son Oyesinmilola Diya on behalf of the family.
“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.
“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,” the statement read.
Before his appointment as chief of the general staff in 1993, Diya served among others as military governor of Ogun State; general officer commanding (GOC) 82 Division, commandant of National War College and chief of defence Staff.
As chief of the general staff, he was Nigeria’s de facto vice president under Abacha from 1994 until he was arrested for treason in 1997.
Diya was tried by a military tribunal along with others accused of plotting to overthrow Abacha and was given the death penalty.
He was awaiting execution when Abacha died on June 8, 1998.
Diya and others were pardoned by Abacha’s successor Abdulsalami Abubakar.