1976 Nigerian coup d'état attempt

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1976 Nigerian coup d'état attempt
Location Nigeria AU Africa.svg
DateFebruary 13, 1976

Coup fails.


Nigeria Military government

Armed Forces faction
Commanders and leaders
Murtala Mohammed 
Olusegun Obasanjo
Buka Suka Dimka

The 1976 Nigerian coup d'état attempt was a military coup attempt which took place in Nigeria on 13 February 1976[1] when a faction of Armed Forces officers, led by Lieutenant Colonel Buka Suka Dimka, attempted to overthrow the government of General Murtala Mohammed (who himself took power in the 1975 coup d'état).

Mercedes-Benz /8 in which Mohammed was assassinated; note bullet holes in the windshield. Displayed at the Nigerian National Museum in Lagos.

Mohammed was assassinated in Lagos, along with his aide-de-camp Lieutenant Akintunde Akinsehinwa, when his car was ambushed in Ikoyi en route to the Dodan Barracks, by a group of soldiers led by Dimka.[2][3] In a planned broadcast to the nation, Dimka had cited corruption, indecision, arrest and detention without trial, weakness on the part of Mohammed and maladministration in general as the reasons for overthrowing the government. The coup attempt was crushed several hours later by government troops.

After a three-week manhunt, Dimka was arrested near Abakaliki in southeastern Nigeria on 6 March 1976.[4] Following a court martial, Dimka and another 6 co-conspirators were executed by firing squad on 15 May 1976.[5]

General Mohammed was succeeded by Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo as head of state.


  1. ^ "Nigeria: A Coup Fails". The New York Times. 16 February 1976. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  2. ^ "NIGERIA CONFIRMS KILLING OF LEADER". The New York Times. 15 February 1976. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  3. ^ Siollun, Max. Oil, Politics and Violence: Nigeria's Military Coup Culture (1966–1976). Algora. p. 193. ISBN 9780875867090.
  4. ^ "Nigeria Arrests Leader of Coup". The New York Times. 7 March 1976. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  5. ^ "1976: Lt. Col. Bukar Dimka and six coup confederates". Executed Today. Retrieved 11 January 2015.