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Obasanjo How OBJ’s alleged coup plot against Abacha was foiled – Bamaiyi

Bamaiyi said the coup was real, and the records can prove that Obasanjo was involved.

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo play

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

(Daily Trust )

Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (Rtd.), a former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has revealed that ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo was involved in the foiled 1995 coup plot against Gen. Sani Abacha.

Bamaiyi said the coup was real, and the records can prove that Obasanjo was involved.

The former COAS also said “Despite spirited denial by these key officers, some of them will always tell the truth, including Col. Lawal Gwadabe and Col. Bello Fadile, whose recordings cannot be denied.

“I want to state clearly and without fear of contradiction that the 1995 coup in which Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo was convicted was real.

“I am glad that Gen. Mujakpero, who investigated the coup, stood his ground in asserting that it really happened.

“Gen. PN Aziza carried out his duties by trying and convicting Gen. Obasanjo, and has clearly stated that if he retried that case, he would still convict Obasanjo.

“I know the coup was real and was reported to Gen. AZ Kazir when he was GOC 1 Mechanised DIV, but he did nothing about it until he was appointed COAS.

“I remember going go Gen. Kazir when I was commander of the Lagos Garrison and telling him there were rumours about the coup. He confirmed that he had heard about it.

“I asked him what he was going to do about it, and he said he was handling it. He was my boss, so I did not go further.

“I don’t remember the exact date. But on a Sunday, the COAS, Maj. Gen. Kazir, invited us into his study at his residence.

“Present at the meeting were Gens. Kazir; Olanrewaju who happened to be in Lagos from Jos; Muktar, the DMI; and Adeleke Kola, the provost marshal, and me, Comd. LGC.

“Gen. Olanrewaju briefed us on how the coup plan started from his Division and said that he had lot of officers involved.

“In Lagos, we had two involved officers named Col. Bello Fadile and Col. Gabriel Ajayi- my Col. Administration and Quartering. The decision to arrest these officers was made at the meeting.

“Based on Gen. Olanrewaju’s briefing, it was clear the officers could strike anytime.

“It was decided that Gen. Olanrewaju be given an aircraft to take him to Jos. The same aircraft would then proceed to Yola to bring in Col. Gwadabe, who came to Jos and was put in detention.

“I read some falsehood Colonel Ajayi wrote several times claiming he and I took Holy Communion in the church, but I did not say anything to him.

“I received instruction to arrest him in the evening. I directed CO 26 Battalion to arrest him, and he was arrested.

“If I had received this instruction before going to church, I would have ordered his arrest as soon as he left church.

“I was not involved in the matter again after Ajayi’s arrest.

“Headquarters Lagos Garrison Command (HQ LGC) has always been the venue for coup trials in Lagos and was used as such in 1995.

“After the trial and conviction of Gen. Obasanjo and Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, efforts were made by many Nigerians, including some army officers, to get them released.

“At one point, I went with Gen. PN Azazi to the Head of State and we pleaded with him to pardon the two generals and release them from prison because they were a former head of state and his deputy.

“He promised to look at it. But I was told later, though I did not confirm it, that some security officials advised him against the release, and nothing was done.

ALSO READ: Ishaya Bamaiyi says former Head of State should tell Nigerians the truth about MKO Abiola’s death

“I did not go to Abacha because I had doubts about Gen. Obasanjo’s involvement in the coup based on the briefing we received from DMI, Col. Sabo, the SIP report, and the statements of other coupists.”

Bamaiyi has also called on former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar to tell Nigerians the truth about the death of late politician and business mogul, MKO Abiola.

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