By Max Amuchie
ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – General Emmanuel Olumuyiwa Abisoye, one-time Federal Commissioner of Health during the military regime of then General Olusegun Obasanjo, is dead.
Abisoye, who died on March 17 at age 81, was also a member of the Supreme Military Council, Nigeria’s highest decision making body at the time.
The statement announcing his demise was issued in Lagos Tuesday evening by Deaconess Shola Abisoye.
The late Abisoye will be remembered as the chairman of the Military Tribunal that tried and convicted Col. Buka Suka Dimka and other plotters in the abortive coup that claimed the life of the late Head of State, General Murtata Muhammed on February 13, 1976.
The tribunal headed by Abisoye sentenced to death Dimka, who was the ring leader of the coup; General I. D. Bisala, who was then defence minister; and Joseph Gomwalk, the Governor of the defunct Middle Belt State, among others. They were publicly executed at the Bar Beach, Lagos on May 15, 1976.
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, was saved from being arraigned before Abisoye because of his exile in the United Kingdom. He had been overthrown on July 29, 1975 in the coup that brought Murtata Muhammed to power and was during investigation into the Dimka coup.
General Abisoye, according to the obituary statement issued on Tuesday, “was commissioned into the Queen’s own Nigerian regiment in March 1961. He was at one time, the General Officer Commanding the 3rd Infantry Division and also the 2nd Infantry Division. He served as the Federal Commissioner of Health and was a member of the Supreme Military Council. He voluntarily retired from the Nigerian Army in October 1979.
“He was at various times the President General, Keffi Old Boys Association, Pioneer President, Retired Army, Navy and Air Force Officers Association Of Nigeria (RANAO); Pioneer Chairman, Kogi State Foundation; Pioneer Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Abuja.
“He was conferred with the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) in 2011.
“General Abisoye is survived by his beloved wife Ruth, children and grandchildren.”