Thursday, 7 July 2016

The execution of Lt. Col. Bukar Suka Dimka and other coup plotters:

When Lt. Col. Dimka, then Commander of the Nigeria Army Physical Education Corps stepped out of his official residence on Macpherson Road, Ikoyi, in the early hours of February 13, 1976, he had one agenda in mind, the killing of the then Head of State, Gen. Murtala Muhammed. He achieved this criminal act by gunning down the Kano-born military leader, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed.
Murtala Mohammed was assassinated along with his Aide-de-Camp Lieutenant Akintunde Akinsehinwa, as well as his driver and orderly, when his Mercedes-Benz was ambushed in Ikoyi, Lagos. The coup itself was crushed several hours later by forces loyal to the government. Lieutenant Colonel Dimka fled from the premises of Radio Nigeria at Ikoyi where he had made a broadcast to the nation.
He was eventually arrested in the company of a prostitute in Eastern Nigeria.
On Saturday May 15 1976: Dismissed Lt. Col. Bukar S. Dimka is interviewed shortly before his execution for his role in the aborted military coup attempt of Feb 13 of same year during which head of state General Murtala Mohammed was assassinated. Dimka was executed by firing squad at the Kirikiri Prisons Lagos along with six others including former military governor of the old Benue Plateau State, Police Commissioner, Mr. J.D . Gomwalk, Lt. S. Kwale, W.O. (II) E. Bawa, Col. Isa Bukar, Major K. Afolabi, and Mr. H. Shaiyen. Former head of state General Yakubu Gowon in exile in the UK at the time was implicated in the coup attempt, dismissed from the army and declared wanted. 11 other individuals including a woman were sentenced to life imprisonment. Three others received lesser sentences. Two months earlier, 32 of the convicted coup plotters had already been executed by firing squad including former federal commissioner for defence, Major General I. D. Bisalla.
The former military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon (who had been overthrown by General Mohammed in July 1975) was implicated in the abortive coup but escaped justice as he was living in exile in London. The British Government refused to extradite him. Years later he was given an official pardon by civilian president Shehu Shagari since there was insufficient evidence to convict him of involvement.

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