35 Views

How The ’84 Buhari Govt Allegedly Tried To Smuggle Umaru Dikko In A Suitcase

On 31 December, 1983, the elected government of Nigeria was overthrown in a military coup by the country’s army. The new military government jailed several government ministers for corruption and embezzlement while in office. However, the powerful former Transport Minister, Umaru Dikko, fled to London. The military claimed that Dikko used his position as Transport Minister to enrich himself in a series of racketeering scandals. It regarded Dikko as its most wanted fugitive from justice and wanted to bring him back to Nigeria to face trial.

 To bring this about, they hatched a plot to kidnap him off the streets of London. Nigerian intelligence services and undercover agents (with the help of several Israelis who were alleged to be members of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad) tracked Dikko to a house in west London. After placing the house under surveillance, the agents decided to strike on 5 July, 1984.
Moments after Dikko emerged from the house, two men burst out from a van parked outside the house. They grabbed Dikko and bundled him into the back of the van. The team inside the van included a doctor who injected Dikko to render him unconscious.

Dikko’s kidnappers locked him in a large crate labelled “diplomatic baggage” and addressed to the Nigerian Ministry of External Affairs in the then capital city, Lagos. They claimed diplomatic immunity for the crate’s contents, and drove him to Stansted airport to place him on a waiting Nigerian cargo plane.

Umaru Dikko

Umaru Dikko

Unbeknown to the kidnappers, Dikko’s secretary had glanced out of her window just in time to see her boss being bundled into the van outside his house, and she dialled 999.

The kidnap was initially thought to be the work of criminals and was referred to Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist squad. The Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also informed.

The British government ordered customs officials at airports, ports and border crossings to be vigilant when inspecting Nigeria-bound vessels. One customs officer at Stansted airport was especially vigilant. Although the Nigerian cargo plane was minutes from taking off with Dikko on board, he ordered the crate to be opened. Nigerian intelligence officials and diplomatic staff protested that the crate could not be opened as it was protected by diplomatic immunity.

The customs officer called anti-terrorist police. They cordoned off the area and evacuated airport staff. Customs then opened the crate with armed police watching. Inside the crate, they found Dikko unconscious, next to the doctor who had injected him. The doctor had accompanied Dikko in the box to top up his anaesthetics and ensure he did not die during transit.

Armed police surrounded the Nigerian cargo plane on the runway, arrested its crew and refused to allow the plane to take off. They also arrested the Nigerian officials and Israelis who drove the crate to Stansted, and several members of Nigeria’s High Commission in London.

The Nigerian and Israeli governments always denied any involvement in the affair. Foreign intelligence involvement became apparent only when the sophistication and daring of the Dikko kidnap was revealed.

The kidnap caused one of the worst-ever diplomatic crises between Britain and Nigeria. The Nigerian High Commissioner was declared persona non grata in London, and the head of Nigeria Airways narrowly escaped being arrested by British police. Diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Britain were suspended for two years. The controversy also weakened Nigeria’s war on corruption, as Britain rejected a subsequent formal request from Nigeria to extradite Dikko and other Nigerian politicians in the UK who were wanted in Nigeria on charges of corruption.

Four men were convicted of kidnapping Dikko (three Israelis and a Nigerian) in a trial at the Old Bailey, and were jailed. All were released and returned to their countries after serving their sentences. After regaining consciousness in hospital, Dikko remained in Britain for over a decade.

Max Siollun is a historian and the author of “Soldiers of Fortune: Nigerian Politics Under Buhari and Babangida”.

 

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

5 Quick And Stunning Facts About The Nigerian That Painted Obama’s Portrait
Best of Nigeria
30 views
Best of Nigeria
30 views

5 Quick And Stunning Facts About The Nigerian That Painted Obama’s Portrait

Mabel - October 21, 2017

The skilled craftsman who is a New York-based representation painter, known for his exceedingly naturalistic depictions of dark individuals in chivalrous postures, will be the main dark…

Eat These Common Foods And Lessen Your Risk Of Colon Cancer
Food and Health
34 views
Food and Health
34 views

Eat These Common Foods And Lessen Your Risk Of Colon Cancer

Mabel - October 21, 2017

You know entire grains are useful for your heart, yet they may have another advantage, as well, as indicated by a new report from the World Cancer Research…

SEE This Nollywood Director’s ‘Birthday Cake’ Everyone Is Talking About – [One Of A Kind]
Entertainment
37 views
Entertainment
37 views

SEE This Nollywood Director’s ‘Birthday Cake’ Everyone Is Talking About – [One Of A Kind]

MT - October 21, 2017

  Nollywood director, Ugezu J. Ugezu who is currently on set with his crew for the making of the movie ‘THRONE OF REVENGE’, celebrated his birthday with…

5 Drugs That Get Nigerians High Far More Than Marijuana
Food and Health
30 views
Food and Health
30 views

5 Drugs That Get Nigerians High Far More Than Marijuana

Mabel - October 21, 2017

  The codeine culture is getting more intensed in north and in urban ranges of Southern Nigeria. It is the most loved medication of decision for some…

Exquisite First Photos From Ex Governor, Mimiko’s Daughter’ Traditional Wedding In Akure
Politics
32 views
Politics
32 views

Exquisite First Photos From Ex Governor, Mimiko’s Daughter’ Traditional Wedding In Akure

MT - October 21, 2017

On Thursday 19th October, 2017, Ondo State’s former Governor Mimiko’s daughter, Bibitayo tied the knot with his sweet heart, Adetola Aderemi in the State’s capital, Akure. Dignitaries…

How Actor Mofe Duncan’s Sister Was Chased To The Point Of Death By FRSC Officials – Friend
Entertainment
23 views
Entertainment
23 views

How Actor Mofe Duncan’s Sister Was Chased To The Point Of Death By FRSC Officials – Friend

MT - October 21, 2017

  Nollywood actor, Mofe Duncan took to Instagram moments ago to narrate how his sister Matilda sustained injuries in an auto accident in Abuja. The accident, according…

Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari Relaxes On A Yacht With Wives Of Other Leaders In Turkey (Photos)
Politics
31 views
Politics
31 views

Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari Relaxes On A Yacht With Wives Of Other Leaders In Turkey (Photos)

MT - October 21, 2017

Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari was seen with wives of other world leaders relaxing on a yacht in Instanbul while being hosted by the First Lady…

Quick Reminder Facts About ‘Legendary DaGrin’ As Fans Celebrate His 30th Posthumous Birthday
Buzz & Trends
22 views
Buzz & Trends
22 views

Quick Reminder Facts About ‘Legendary DaGrin’ As Fans Celebrate His 30th Posthumous Birthday

Mabel - October 21, 2017

Oladapo Olaitan Olaonipekun, also known as Dagrin (21 October 1987 – 22 April 2010), was an award-winning Nigerian rapper from Ogun, Nigeria. A film of his life…

Atiku’s Ex Daughter-in-law, Miss Ummi Reveals What Led To The Custody Battle With Ex Hubby Aminu
Politics
27 views
Politics
27 views

Atiku’s Ex Daughter-in-law, Miss Ummi Reveals What Led To The Custody Battle With Ex Hubby Aminu

MT - October 21, 2017

In an interview with Punch, Miss Ummi Bukar Bolori, ex wife of Aminu, one of the sons of the former vice president of Nigeria, Abubakar Atiku, reveals…

Kebbi State’s Accountant-General, Mohammed Dakingari, Sentenced To 70yrs Jail Term For This Reason.
Politics
29 views
Politics
29 views

Kebbi State’s Accountant-General, Mohammed Dakingari, Sentenced To 70yrs Jail Term For This Reason.

MT - October 21, 2017

The Court of Appeal Kebbi Division has upturned the judgment of a Kebbi State High Court which discharged and acquitted Mohammed Arzika Dakingari, Accountant General of Kebbi…

This Is What Governor Amosun Is Saying About The Stories Making Round That A Youth Corper Gave Birth To Twins For Him
Politics
38 views
Politics
38 views

This Is What Governor Amosun Is Saying About The Stories Making Round That A Youth Corper Gave Birth To Twins For Him

MT - October 21, 2017

Mr Ibikunle Amosun, the governor of Ogun State, on Friday morning broke his silence on what he considered as the avalanches of rumours and falsehood being peddled…

Bidemi Kosoko Shares Adorable Birthday Photos With Well Wishers
Buzz & Trends
26 views
Buzz & Trends
26 views

Bidemi Kosoko Shares Adorable Birthday Photos With Well Wishers

Mabel - October 21, 2017

Nollywood performing artist and girl of Veteran on-screen character Jide Kosoko, Bidemi Kosoko is a year more established today and the on-screen character has dropped some lovely…

Bishop Oyedepo Speaks On The Spiritual Attack On His Private Jet That Almost Killed Him Recently
Religion
35 views
Religion
35 views

Bishop Oyedepo Speaks On The Spiritual Attack On His Private Jet That Almost Killed Him Recently

MT - October 21, 2017

It was praise, worship and thanksgiving to God yesterday at Canaanland, Otta, the headquarters of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (LFCWW) . The leadership and members of…

PHOTOS: ‘I Wish My Mum Was Alive To See This’ – Davido Gushes As He Takes Photos With Oba Ewuare Of Benin
Entertainment
45 views
Entertainment
45 views

PHOTOS: ‘I Wish My Mum Was Alive To See This’ – Davido Gushes As He Takes Photos With Oba Ewuare Of Benin

MT - October 21, 2017

Nigerian music star, Davido earlier today was pictured with Edo Crown Prince for the first year anniversary of Oba Ewuare II of Benin Kingdom coronation today. The…

How This Nigerian Lady, Ekprimma Called Out An Uyo Doctor For Molesting Her Will Shock You
Shocking
21 views
Shocking
21 views

How This Nigerian Lady, Ekprimma Called Out An Uyo Doctor For Molesting Her Will Shock You

MT - October 21, 2017

An enraged Nigerian lady, Ekprimma Koko is set to go to Uyo on Sunday to probably show the whole world the man who molested her several times…

MBGN 2017 Winner, Ugochi Ihezue Super Excited As She Receives Her Official Car (Photos)
Entertainment
22 views
Entertainment
22 views

MBGN 2017 Winner, Ugochi Ihezue Super Excited As She Receives Her Official Car (Photos)

MT - October 21, 2017

Newly crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Ugochi Ihezue has received her official Car. The model who beat 35 contestants and walked home with the Crown got…

Former Militant Leader, Asari Dokubo Has This Strong Message For President Buhari (New Video)
Politics
27 views
Politics
27 views

Former Militant Leader, Asari Dokubo Has This Strong Message For President Buhari (New Video)

MT - October 21, 2017

Former Niger Delta militant leader, Asari Dokubo, has come for President Buhari again. In this new video, Dokubo described the President as a ''satan'' for neglecting people…

First Photos From Davido’s Friend, Tagbo Umeike Burial Ceremony. All Happened Amidst High Emotions In Anambra State.
Entertainment
48 views
Entertainment
48 views

First Photos From Davido’s Friend, Tagbo Umeike Burial Ceremony. All Happened Amidst High Emotions In Anambra State.

MT - October 21, 2017

Davido’s friend, Tagbo Ifeatuchukwu Umeike was laid to rest today  20th Oct.2017 at his home town Osumenyi in Nnewi south LGA.Anambra state. Friends and loved ones were…

Loading...