African History

The Failed Kidnap Mission of Ex-minister Umaru Dikko By The Nigeria Government

Umaru Dikko, who was the Minister of Transport under the regime of Shehu Shagari (1979–1983) when his administration was overthrown by the military and Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari installed as the head of state.

 

The Failed Kidnap Mission of Ex-minister Umaru Dikko By The Nigeria Government
Nigeria Cargo Airplane Awaiting – image credit: BBC

Some former Ministers under Shehu Shagari was jailed, while Dikko managed to escape to London in a disguise of a priest. There he continued criticizing the military-led government. Recall that Umaru Dikko was charged for stealing millions of dollars from a food distribution program, which he denied.

The military-led government devised a means of bringing Dikko back to Nigeria and prosecute him. Teaming up with the Intelligence Services of some Israeli agents from the Mossad Agency, Dikko’s residence in West London was tracked

A joint team led by An Israeli Mossad agent, Alexander Barak, Felix Abitbol, Maj. Mohammed Yusufu, and Dr. Lev-Arie Shapiro who was to inject Dikko with an anesthetic.

Dikko was kidnapped and bundled into a van and sealed in a large crate with the Nigerian Ministry of External Affairs in the then capital city, Lagos address, On July 5, 1984. He was injected and laid in the crate, unconsciously with Doctor Shapiro beside him to go keep him alive while Alexander Barak and Abitbol were sealed in the second crate and was driven to Stansted airport and fly him back to Lagos on a waiting Nigerian cargo plane.



Having seen what had transpired, Dikko’s secretary called the police and an order by the British authority to thoroughly inspect Nigeria-bound vessels. A young custom officer at Stansted, Charles David Morrow, ordered the crates to be opened just when the Nigerian cargo plane was minutes to departure.
The Nigerian Intelligence officials and the Diplomatic staff refuted that the crates were sealed and can’t be opened as they were under the protection of Diplomatic Immunity.

 

The Failed Kidnap Mission of Ex-minister Umaru Dikko By The Nigeria Government
Custom report – image credit: BBC

The Custom officers invited the anti-terrorist police. The crates were opened and Dikko was lying unconscious with no shirt on. He had on him; a tube down his throat to support his airflow, a heart monitor, and by his side was the Israeli Anesthetist. The others were found in the other crate.

Maj. Yusufu and the rest of the Israelis officers were sent to prison. Although the Israeli and Nigerian government denied having played a role in the kidnap, their Diplomatic relationship was marred and suspended for two years.

Umaru Dikko was born in 1936 in Wamba. Studied in the University of London.
He once worked for BBC. Had two wives, eleven children and grandchildren.
Dikko rejoined the Nigeria politics in the 90s becoming the chairman of the disciplinary committee of the People’s Democratic Party of Goodluck Jonathan.


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Buchi Prinzy Henry
An African writer with cravings to unearth all stolen, hidden, and unheard glories of Afrika. Mental emancipation is my mission. I write on History Category at 54history.com

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