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Since Nigeria gained Independence in 1960, there was an electoral body constituted by the government to organise a free and fair election. In this post, we will do a complete analysis of chairmen of the electoral body in Nigeria from 1960 till date.
This means that the origin of what is now known as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) dated back to pre-independence. Then there was Electoral Commission of Nigeria that conducted the 1959 elections. And after independence, the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) came into being to conduct the federal and regional elections of 1964 and 1965.
Having said that see below the full list of INEC chairmen from 1960 till date
See the list of INEC Chairmen from 1960 till date
- Eyo Esua (1960-1966)
- Michael Ani (1976-1979)
- Victor Ovie-Whiskey (1983)
- Eme Awa (1987-1989)
- Humphrey Nwosu (1989-1993)
- Prof.Okon Uya (1993-1994)
- Sumner Dagogo-Jack (1994-1998)
- Ephraim Akpata (1998-1999)
- Abel Guobadia (2000-2005)
- Prof. Attahiru Jega (2010 – 2015)
- Mahmood Yakubu (2015 – till date)
Eyo Esua (1960-1966):
He’s the first chairman of electoral body in Nigeria. At the time of his appointment, it is known as Nigeria Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO). He was the chairman from 1960 till 1966, when Nigerian soldiers revolted and took overthrew the government through a coup de’tat.
Michael Ani (1976-1979):
After the government of Gen Murtala Muhammed and Gen Olusegun Obasanjo planed to handover to a democratically elected government, Obasanjo, after the demise of his boss established came up with the Federal Electoral Commission and appointed Chief Ani as the head to oversee the conduct of 1979 elections.
Victor Ovie-Whiskey (1983):
The government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari who was seeking reelection appointed Ovie-Whiskey to conduct the 1983 elections, unfortunately, the republic was truncated on December 31, 1983. On assumption of office, the government of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari dissolve the electoral body.
Eme Awa (1987-1989):
Gen Ibrahim Babangida overthrew the government of Buhari in another in 1985, and tried to return the country to democratic government, thereby appointed Prof. Awa as the head of National Electoral Commission of Nigeria.
Humphrey Nwosu (1989-1993):
Nwosu conducted an election that has been described as the most free and fair election in Nigeria. The election produced Chief M.K.O Abiola of Social Democratic Party (SDP) as elected Nigerian president. Unfortunately, the election was annulled.
Prof.Okon Uya (1993-1994):
He was summarily appointed by IBB
Sumner Dagogo-Jack (1994-1998):
He was in charge of the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON) created by the regime of late Gen. Sani Abacha, NECON conducted elections for Abacha, who was trying to transform himself to a democratically elected head of state. All the five political parties at the time had nominated him. The elected persons never assumed office before the sudden death of Abacha in June 1998.
Ephraim Akpata (1998-1999):
In 1998 General Abdulsalam Abubakar’s Administration dissolved NECON and came up with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which organized the transitional elections that ushered in the Nigerian Fourth Republic on May 29, 1999. Obasanjo won the election of that year.
Abel Guobadia (2000-2005):
The regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Guobadia as the head of INEC, and conducted the elections of 2003. Obasanjo won the election back to back.
Maurice Iwu (2005-2010): In June 2005, Guobadia retired and was succeeded by Professor Maurice Iwu, who has been described as one of the most controversial INEC head since 1999 till date.
During his reign as INEC boss, he announced that foreign monitors would not be allowed during elections, but only foreign election observers.
Iwu conducted the 2007 elections that brought in Late Alhaji Shehu Musa YarÁdua, who confessed that the election that brought him to government was not free and fair.
Prof. Attahiru Jega (2010 – 2015):
He assumed office on June 8, 2010, he was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan subject to Senate confirmation.
He conducted the 2011 election, in which the incumbent president Jonathan lost to an opposition, Muhammadu Buhari.
Mahmood Yakubu (2015 – 20??):
It’s on record that he postponed 2019 General Elections six hours before the commencement of the polls.