He was one of the five mutinous Nigerian Army Majors who led the 1966 coup that ended the first democratic Nigerian government.

Adewale was born in Ode Remo in present-day Ogun State in southwestern Nigeria. He earned a degree in history from the University of London. He was one of the first graduates that enrolled as an officer in the Nigerian Army along with Lieutenant Colonels Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and Victor Banjo, and Majors Olufemi Olutoye, Emmanuel Ifeajuna, and Oluwole Rotimi in the 1966 Nigerian army. Adewale Ademoyega was the last graduate to be commissioned directly into the Nigerian Army Infantry.

During the Biafran civil war, Adewale fought in the “Nigerian Liberation Army”, a part of the Biafran army led by Lieutenant Colonel Banjo.

Major Ademoyega was released from detention by Biafran Head of State Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, on August 13, 1966. He then formed the Biafran 19th Battalion and subsequently took over for Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna, who also helped with the 1966 coup as the chief of staff of the Liberation Army. Unfortunately for Major Ademoyega, His excellency Ojukwu received some intelligence that some officer would overthrow him. Major Ademoyega was detained along with several officers and comrades. Several of these officers would later be shot by Biafran forces. Maybe Ademoyega was spared however as he truly had nothing to do with this. He was detained for the remainder of the civil war.

Ademoyega was briefly ‘freed’ after the war. However, Federal forces put him right back in detention for his participation as part as the Liberation Army.

He was finally released along with twenty others during the 1974 Independence Day amnesty.

Adewale Ademoyega died on February 21, 2007 after being ill for sometime.




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