Friday, September 22, 2023


Aminu: I, not Dasuki, arrested Buhari in 1985

Aminu: I, not Dasuki, arrested Buhari in 1985
August 09
08:50 2015

Contrary to the popular belief that Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, was in the team that arrested Muhammadu Buhari during the 1985 coup, Abdulmumini Aminu has revealed the identities of the three majors.

Speaking to Daily Trust in an interview published on Sunday, Aminu, who retired as a colonel in 1993, said it was a three-man team which he led that arrested the then head of state, with the others being Lawan Gwadabe and John Madaki.

This revelation runs contrary to reports that the team was made up of Dasuki, Aminu, Gwadabe and Abubakar Umar.

Most recently when the DSS searched the residences of the former NSA during the id-al-fitr celebrations, there were insinuations that it was in revenge for what he “did” to Buhari during the Muslim holidays on August 27, 1985 when the coup was executed.


But Aminu told Daily Trust: “I must confess that I led that operation. I went to Dodan Barracks that time in company of two other officers – then Major John Madaki and Lawan Gwadabe. Three of us went, but specifically I was the one that went upstairs to bring Buhari. With due respect, I have been reading in the papers and listening to radio, people saying that we manhandled him, we disrespected him.  That was not true. I and General Buhari are the only two who knew what transpired upstairs and there was nothing like that.

“We gave him his absolute respect as a superior, because even before that time, we had absolute respect for him, because of whom and what he was. We respected him a lot till today and there is no animosity between us and he knew it was a military assignment that we were carrying out from our superior. He even told me at one time. So for us, it is just like the other way round of when he came to power during the anti-Shagari coup. I was among those who played a major role in getting him to power (in 1993).

“So, he knew the role I played. And even Buhari knew in 2003, I was arrested because of him. That time, I supported him (in the presidential election against President Olusegun Obasanjo). I worked for him at that time, without even him knowing anyway, but he later knew. You see, once you believe in somebody and you know he has the capability, you can do anything for him without even him knowing.”


Aminu, first right, on a sympathy visit to former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido, who is facing EFCC trial

Aminu also denied that Buhari was handcuffed during the operation.

He said: “It is a blatant lie. In an operation of that nature, we don’t carry handcuffs. I did not salute him because according to military tradition and norms when the flag is lowered, you can only pay compliments the way you deem fit, not salutation.

“We met at 2am and at that time, we don’t salute because the flag is down, until 6am again when the flag is up. To insinuate that he was handcuffed, that is far from the truth. We only accorded him all the respects he deserved. I still hold him in very high esteem.”

The three majors went on to hold important positions in the government of Ibrahim Babangida – with Aminu appointed governor of Borno state, Gwadabe governor of Niger and Madaki governor of Katsina.



  1. chyke
    chyke August 09, 12:54

    I wish these characters that popularise and institutionalised corruption in Nigeria should forever fade away

    Reply to this comment
  2. Samito
    Samito August 09, 19:02

    who cares who arrested or did not arrest GMB. All we want is for him to do a good job now he is at the top and in charge. The thieves who stole the country dry – civil servants, oil bunkerers, politicians especially those who could not pay the state workers, but bribed and rigged their ways into the National Assembly should be made to account for their misdeeds and return the money. I see no reason why someone who proved incompetent and untrustworthy should go to warm the bench at the NA. We need to get serious in this country. So far GMB has done well. If Dasuki runs fowl of the law and process, let him go in for it. It is a pity that our dearly respected Lawan Gwadebe who I admire so much could find himself paying sympathy visit to people that put us in this economic mess. Listening to former Chief of Defence staff’s excuses for failure to defeat Boko Haram, makes me sick. No weapons to fight Boko Haram? Where did the military that he headed keep all the 25% of our annual budget allocated to the annually. They should give Nigerians account of what they did with the money because we are aware that top military personnel are busy building and acquiring mansions, commercial houses and hotels all over Nigeria and overseas. where did the resources for such wealth come from. Let us give GMB all the support he needs to right the wrongs of the country and put the country back in the right shape. The States where monumental corruption were carried out should not be spared in the search for justice and fair play.

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  3. SirP
    SirP August 10, 09:10

    Both Dasuki, Aminu and all corrupt people in this nation should be made to face the wrought of the law.

    Reply to this comment

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