Yesterday, October 10, 2015, the tragic news broke that Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, a former governor of Bayelsa State, has died.
Here are 10 facts that you should know about the prominent Nigerian politician.
1. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was born on November 16, 1952 in Amassoma, Ogboin North local government area of Bayelsa State.
2. He was popularly known as "Governor-General of Ijaw Nation".
3. He attended the Bishop Dimeari Grammar School in Yenagoa. He joined the Nigerian Defence Academy as a cadet officer in 1974, then joined the Nigerian Air Force, where he served in the department of Logistics and Supply.
4. He held various air force positions in Enugu, Markurdi, Kaduna and Ikeja. Alamieyeseigha retired from the air force in 1992 as a Squadron Leader.
5. Alamieyeseigha was elected governor of Bayelsa State in May 1999 as a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. He was re-elected in 2003.
6. Alamieyeseigha was detained in London, the UK, on charges of money laundering in September 2005. At the time of his arrest, Metropolitan police found about £1m in cash in his London home. Later they found a total of £1.8m in cash and bank accounts. He has been found to own real estate in London worth an alleged £10 million
7. He jumped bail in December 2005 from the UK by allegedly disguising himself as a woman, though Alamieyeseigha denied this claim.
8. On July 26, 2007, Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty before a Nigerian court and was sentenced to two years in prison. However, because the sentences were set to run concurrently and the time was counted from the point of his arrest nearly two years before the sentences, his actual sentence was relatively short and on July 27 he was released.
9. On 12 March 2013, Alamieyeseigha was pardoned by President Goodluck Jonathan.
10. He was expected to lead the re-election campaign of Governor Seriake Dickson ahead of the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State.