Ministers of Interior in Nigeria (1957 To Date)

Last updated on August 20th, 2023 at 09:48 pm


The first Interior Minister in Nigeria is Adegoke Adelabu while Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo is the present Minister of Interior, he is expected to assume office on August 21, 2023.

The government of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa constituted the first cabinet in Nigeria. In his first cabinet as the primer minister, Balewa appointed Adegoke Adelabu as the interior minister but he was replaced by Chief Johnson Modupe Johnson as the first interior minister in Nigeria.

In the 50s and 60s, the Ministry of Interior was known as Internal Affairs, it was charged with the mandate of taking care of the internal affairs of Nigeria.


When Balewa first cabinet dissolved, he constituted another one and appointed Usman Sarki while Shehu Shagari was the last internal affairs when soldiers took over power on January 15, 1966 coup, bringing to an abrupt end of the first republic.

Since then, succeeding governments have appointed either civilian or military men as ministers of interior.

At the time of publication, the former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola is the incumbent head of Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior since August 21, 2019. He took over from Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, a retired Army General.

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List of present and past ministers of interior in Nigeria from 1957 till date

Ministers of InteriorYears in Office
Adegoke Adelabu 
J. M. Johnson1957–1959
Usman Sarki1959–1962
Shehu Shagari1965 to January 15, 1966
Cabinet of Aguiyi IronsiJan 15 ‘66 to July 29, 1966
Cabinet of Yakubu Gowon1966 to 1975
Cabinet of Murtala Muhammed1975-1976
Cabinet of Olusegun Obasanjo1976 to 1979
Maitama Bello YusufDecember 1979 – 1981
Iya Abubakar1981–1982
Ali Baba1982 – 1983
Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Magoro1984 to 1985
John Shagaya1985-1990
Lamba Gwom1990-1990
Bagudu Mamman1990-1992
Tunji Olagunju1992-1993
Sani Abacha cabinetNovember 25, 1993, to June 8, 1998
Abdulsalam Abubakar cabinetAugust 22, 1998 to May 29, 1999
Sunday AfolabiJune 1999 to 2000
Mohammed Shata2000 to 2003
Iyorchia AyuJuly 2003 to June 2005
Magaji MuhammedJuly 13, 2005 to June 2006
Oluyemi AdenijiJune 21, 2006 to May 2007
Godwin Osagie AbbeJuly 26, 2007 to 14 July 14, 2009
Shettima MustafaJuly 14, 2009 to March 17, 2010
Emmanuel IheanachoApril 6, 2010 to July 2011
Patrick Abba MoroJuly 2011 to May 2015
Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd)November 11, 2015 to May 28, 2019
Rauf AregbesolaAugust 21, 2019 – May 29, 2023
Bunmi Tunji-OjoAugust 20, 2023, till date

Sani Abacha cabinet

On assumption of office in a palace coup against the Interim National Government, Military dictator Sani Abacha constituted a 32-member cabinet. He did not state their portfolio until days after the bloodless coup. 30 members of his cabinet were civilians purposely to gain the acceptability of Nigerians and the international community.

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Sunday Afolabi

A former deputy governor in the old Oyo state. He was later involved in National Identity card corruption. Obasanjo fired him.

Patrick Abba Moro

Now a senator at the National Assembly. He’s notorious for his involvement in an employment scam that led to the death of 20 job seekers in 2014 during immigration recruitment.

The ministry which he headed was accused of pocketing NGN677 million as a recruitment fee from millions of unemployed Nigerians.


If you have information about Aguiyi-Ironsi’s cabinet, Cabinet of Yakubu Gowon, Cabinet of Murtala Muhammed, Cabinet of Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalam Abubakar cabinet, kindly send us a message. His government lasted for less than seven months.


Between December 1979 to October 1983, Janet Akinrinade was the only cabinet member under the administration of Shehu Shagari. She was appointed as Minister of State (Interior)

During the Abacha era, he appointed most of those who opposed his government as cabinet members to reduce the agitations against his rule.

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