• en

Revisit 1986 Coup Allegation, Late Vatsa’s Family Asks Nigerian Government 

“We believe that our brother, our uncle, and our father is innocent of the coup allegation, it was a frame-up.”

The family of the late Major-General Mamman Vatsa has appealed to the federal government to investigate the trial and the eventual killing of their son.

Vatsa, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), was allegedly implicated in a coup plot and executed in 1986 by the regime of the then military dictator, Gen Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).

He was executed along with nine other military officers after they were accused of plotting a coup to topple Babangida’s regime.

The call is coming a day after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered the federal government to revisit the case of the brutal murder of a journalist and founder of Newswatch Magazine, Dele Giwa, and other journalists.

Vatsa’s younger brother and spokesperson for the family, and a former Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism in Niger State, Jonathan Vatsa, in an interview with journalists on Saturday, in Minna, Niger State capital, said: “Now that the court in Abuja has ordered the federal government to investigate the brutal murder of Dele Giwa, the case of General Vatsa and nine other military officers should be revisited.

“We believe that our brother, our uncle, and our father is innocent of the coup allegation, it was a frame-up”.

Speaking further, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said: “After the re-trial and he is found innocent as the family believes, there is the need for the family to exhume the body and give him a proper and befitting burial. We know that he cannot come back to life but let the whole world know the truth about his killing.

“What we are appealing is for the federal government to order an investigation into the killing of our brother and the nine other officers just as the Federal High Court has ordered for the re-trial over the killing of the veteran journalist, Dele Giwa.

“All these happened in 1986 under one administration. So, if justice must be done to one, it should be done to all. The 1986 coup was a complete frame-up against the late General Vatsa to eliminate him.

“We have not seen where a soldier who does not command any battalion as at the time, he was framed up could lead a coup plot. That is why we want the trial and the execution investigated.

“His death still remains very fresh not only in the minds of the immediate family but the entire Gulu Vatsa community because he was the light of the people. His killing created a serious vacuum in the community.”

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to resume the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the 1986 murder of Dele Giwa, a renowned investigative journalist.

Giwa was brutally murdered in his Lagos home on October 19, 1986, through a letter bomb during Babangida’s regime.

Dipo Laleye

Follow us on: