Ex-Army Chief, Victor Malu dies at 70

A former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Victor Samuel Malu (Rtd), has died at the age of 70.

Malu died yesterday at a Cairo hospital in Egypt.

A family source, Bem Adoor, told newsmen in Makurdi that Malu travelled two weeks ago to Egypt for medical checks.

The deceased was Chief of Army Staff under President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2001. He was before then the Force Commander of the ECOMOG peace-keeping force in Liberia (between 1996 and 1998).

Malu was born on January 15, 1947 in his home town of Kastina-Ala in Kastina-Ala Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State and enrolled into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in 1967 as part of the 3rd Regular Course.

The late Tiv-born senior military officer who was said to have suffered stroke few years back but was recuperating fast before his demise early hours of Monday, was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of the Nigerian Army upon graduation from the NDA in 1970.

Malu was the chairman of the tribunal that tried General Oladipo Diya and other officers for allegedly attempting to overthrow the Sani Abacha regime in 1997.

He was appointed Chief of Army Staff in May 1999 at the start of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration but was removed in April 2001.

In October 2001 there were protests by Tiv people in Zaki Biam, Katsina-Ala LGA, when 19 soldiers sent to restore peace were killed. In apparent retaliation, soldiers ran over the place, reportedly killing some 100 people and destroying valuable properties.

Malu said armed men smashed into his home and killed four of his relatives before burning down neighbouring houses.

In July 2005, Malu complained that the government was persecuting him, claiming that the State Security Services had seized his passport.

He also said that his military service records had been declared missing and he was not getting fair treatment over his pension.

In January 2006, Malu spoke at a meeting of the Arewa Consultative Forum in Kaduna, allegedly expressing the regret of not having overthrown Obasanjo’s government while he was Chief of Army Staff.

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