Military History

Execution of General I.D. Bisalla and Other February 1976 Coup Plotters

General Iliya D. Bisalla was executed along with 30 other officers on March 11, 1976, for being involved in the abortive coup of February 13, 1976 in which General Murtala Muhammed was killed.

A total of 125 people were arrested in connection with the coup. Forty were released, but 32, among them the defense minister, Maj. Gen. I. D. Bisalla, received death sentences. They were executed at the Kirikiri prison shooting range.

General Bisalla being led to the stake
General Bisalla being led to the stake

General I.D. Bisalla was implicated by Colonel Dimka’s confessions during investigations into the abortive coup. Bisalla was controversially convicted of conspiracy and concealment of treason by the secret Special Military Tribunal. He declared that he was innocent and needed no priest for prayers because he believes he will make heaven.

Bisalla was General Hassan Katsina’s coursemate at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Before becoming the Defense Commissioner, he was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1st Infantry Division of the Nigerian Army from September 1969 to December 1973, and also Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna.

List of coup plotters executed on March 11, 1976

1. Major I.D. Bisalla
2. Warrant Officer II Monday Monchon
3. Captain J. F. Idi
4. Lieutenant Colonel A. R Aliyu
5. Captain M. Parvwong

6. Staff Sergeant Richard Dungdang
7. Sergeant Sale Pankshim
8. Colonel A. D. S. Way

At the stakes
At the stakes

9. Lieutenant Colonel T. K. Adamu
10. Lieutenant A. B. Umaru
11. Captain A. A. Aliyu
12. Captain S. Wakins
13. Lieutenant Mohammed
14. Lieutenant E. L. K Shelleng

15. Lieutenant Colonel Ayuba Tense
16. Captain Augustine Dawurang
17. Major M. M. Mshelia
18. Lieutenant William Serin
19. Major I. B. Ribo
20. Major K. K. Gagra
21. Captain M. R. Gelip

1976 coup plotters

22. Mr. Abubakar Zakari
23. Lieutenant Peter Ggani
24. Warrant officer Emmanuel Dakup Seri
25. Major J. W. Kasai
26. Sergeant Bala Javan

27. Warrant officer II Sambo Dankshin
28. Major Ola Ogunmekan
29. Lieutenant O. Zagni
30. Lieutenant S. Wayah
31. Sergeant Ahmadu Rege

Thanks for reading,


  1. Omipidan, T. O. (2015). The Assassination of General Murtala Muhammed on February 13 1976. OldNaija.
  2. Times, T. N. Y. (1976, March 13). NIGERIA EXECUTES 30 FOR COUP ROLE. The New York Times.
Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (August 11, 2017). Execution of General I.D. Bisalla and Other February 1976 Coup Plotters. OldNaija. Retrieved from


  1. Evidence if required of the waste of our human resources. Most of them innocent bystanders of events which swept them to their deaths. And our recent not accorded aired viewing by the nation.

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