Bioremediation is an effective measure in dealing with such contamination, particularly those from petroleum hydrocarbon sources. The effect of soil amendments on diesel fuel degradation in soil was studied. Diesel fuel was introduced into the soil at the concentration of 5 % (w/w) and mixed with three different organic wastes tea leaf, soy cake, and potato skin, for a period of 3 months. Within 84 days, 35 % oil loss was recorded in the unamended polluted soil while 88, 81 and 75 % oil loss were recorded in the soil amended with soy cake, potato skin and tea leaf, respectively. Diesel fuel utilizing bacteria counts were significantly high in all organic wastes amended treatments, ranging from 111 × 106 to 152 × 106 colony forming unit/gram of soil, as compared to the unamended control soil which gave 31 × 106 CFU/g. The diesel fuel utilizing bacteria isolated from the oil-contaminated soil belongs to Bacillus licheniformis, Ochrobactrum tritici and Staphylococcus sp. Oil-polluted soil amended with soy cake recorded the highest oil biodegradation with a net loss of 53 %, as compared to the other treatments. Dehydrogenase enzyme activity, which was assessed by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride technique, correlated significantly with the total petroleum hydrocarbons degradation and accumulation of CO2. First-order kinetic model revealed that soy cake was the best of the three organic wastes used, with biodegradation rate constant of 0.148 day−1 and half life of 4.68 days. The results showed there is potential for soy cake, potato skin and tea leaf to enhance biodegradation of diesel in oil-contaminated soil.