Military Wiki

Iliya D. Bisalla (ID Bisalla) was a major general in the Nigerian Army and Commissioner of Defence (title is now Minister of Defence) under the military administration of General Murtala Mohammed, the 4th Nigerian Head of State.

Military career

Bisalla was a course mate of General Hassan Katsina at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Before becoming the Defense Commissioner, General Bisalla was the GOC 1st Infantry Division of the Nigerian Army24 Sep 69-14 Dec 73 ,[1] and also the Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna.

Implication and Conviction in the abortive February 1976 Coup Attempt

General Bisalla was implicated by Colonel Dimka's confessional statements after investigations into the abortive February 13, 1976 Dimka led coup which resulted in General Mohammed's assassination. Bisalla was controversially convicted of conspiracy and concealment of treason by the secret Special Military Tribunal; and as a result, Bisalla's complicity is not clear (e.g, the Federal Military Government (FMG) asserted that Bisalla gave Dimka operational orders while Dimka, under interrogation, stated that another officer (Major Rabo) provide the operational orders).[2] Importantly, Dimka's confessional was not corroborated and Dimka was known to have provided inconsistent testimonies and drank beer while being interrogated.[2]


General Bisalla along with 31 other alleged co-conspirators some clearly guilty (such as Colonel Dimka and Lt. William Seri) and others whose guilt remain questionable (such as Joseph Gomwalk) were executed by firing squad[3]


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