Air Commodore (retired) Luke Chijiuba Ochulor served as the first Military Administrator of Delta State, Nigeria, appointed in August 1991 after the state was formed from part of Bendel State during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. He handed over to the elected civilian governor Felix Ibru in January 1992 at the start of the Nigerian Third Republic.
Ochulor is Igbo in origin. He was born in Okpofe Ezinihitte Local Government Area, in Mbaise Imo State Nigeria. As state governor, he was tasked with establishing administrative structures for the new state while preparing for elections and transfer to civilian rule. He created the Delta State University from the Abraka campus of the Bendel State University, and set up a commission to determine if the new university should be moved to Anwai, Asaba, a decision that could cause ethnic unrest.
In July 2003 Ochulor called for leaders of the Ijaw, Itsekiri and Urhobo ethnic groups in Delta State to work together to create peace in the troubled Warri region.] As a member of the Imeobi (inner caucus) of the Imo State Council of Elders, in 2009 he denied rumors that the State governor, Ikedi Ohakim was paying off to the elders to prevent criticism.
Felix Ovudoroye Ibru (7 December 1935 – 12 March 2016) was a Nigerian architect the first democratically elected Governor of Delta State and Senator for Delta Central Senatorial District. Until his death he held the position of President General of the Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU). As a traditional chieftain of his homeland, Ibru bore the tribal honorific Olorogun and often used it as a pre-nominal style. This title is also borne by many of the members of his large family in the same way.
Ibru was born on 7 December 1935 at Agbarha-Otor in the Ughelli North local government area of Delta State to Chief Peter Epete Ibru and Chief (Mrs). Janet Omotogor Ibru, the second of seven children. His brother Michael Ibru is the founder of the Ibru Organization, a major conglomerate. He was educated at Yaba Methodist School, and later Igbobi College where he was Head Boy in 1955. He won the Elder Dempster Lines Scholarship to travel to the United Kingdom. After his secondary school education at Igbobi College, Ibru proceeded to the Nottingham School of Architecture in England where he qualified as an Architect in 1962.
While a student in Nottingham, he was elected the first Black President of the British Council with responsibility for Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. As a result, he was presented to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace in 1960 Shortly after his qualification as an architect in 1962, he worked briefly with the Jewish Agency SOCHNUT, on various projects relating to farm settlements (kibbutzim and moshavim) and prefabricated buildings in Jerusalem and Haifa. He later enrolled at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology for post-graduate studies and qualified with an MSc (Arch) in 1963. He returned to Nigeria at the end of that year and took up an appointment with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education as the first resident Lecturer in Architecture at the Yaba College of Technology.
He was elected member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) in 1969, registered by the Architects registration Council of Nigeria in (ARCON) 1971, and elected Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects in 1995. In 1997 he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) by the Delta State University and a Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
Ibru established an architectural firm, Roye Ibru Associates, which, in 1971, went into partnership with Alan Vaughan-Richards and Associates to establish the firm of Ibru Vaughan-Richards and Associates (Planning Partnership). As one of the two principal partners of the firm, Chief Ibru was involved in the design and supervision of more than 40 projects across the country. They include: University of Lagos Sports Centre, Oguta Lake Resort, The Diette-Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, Office extension for Elf Nig. Ltd. Victoria Island, Lagos University master plan, New Layout Market, Port Harcourt, Mile 3 Diobu Market, Port Harcourt, Sheraton Lagos Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, University of Benin sports centre, University of Benin Master plan, Faculty of Science buildings, University of Benin & Ogun State and the Ogun State Polytechnic Master plan.
As consultant to Ibru Prefabs Limited, he was responsible for the design and supervision of several geodesic domes of various dimensions in many parts of the country. In 1971, under the auspices of the United Nations, he was invited to Tokyo, Japan, as a member of a panel on foreign investment. In 1974, he delivered a lecture at the Harvard Business School, in the United States on Multinationals. It was titled “Emerging Role Of The African Entrepreneur In The Economy And Its Relationship With Multinational Corporations: Competition, Partnership, Cooperation and Absorption”.
Ibru’s political activities began in 1983, when he unsuccessfully contested for a seat in the Senate. He ran for the governorship of Delta State in 1991 and emerged as the first executive governor of the newly created Delta State in 1992.
He won the 2003 senatorial elections for Delta Central.
Ibru died on 12 March 2016 at the age of 80. Ibru was married with 6 children and 6 grandchildren all of whom survive him.
Alhaji Abdulkadir Shehu was acting Administrator of Delta State, Nigeria between November and December 1993 immediately after General Sani Abacha had assumed power from the civilian government. Shehu was Delta State Commissioner of Police, and filled in after the elected governor had been dismissed until Colonel Bassey Asuquo was appointed administrator.
Bassey Asuquo was a Nigerian soldier who served as Military Administrator of Delta State between December 1993 and September 1994, and then Edo State from September 1994 to December 1996, during the military regime of General Sani Abacha. He retired as a brigadier general.
In 2008, he was Clan Head of Anim Ankiong Clan Council of Odukpani Local Government area in Cross River State. He testified before the House Committee on Power and Steel investigating funds paid for the Calabar 561MW GT power station, saying that the project delays were caused by the contractors and were not due to resistance from the community. In September 2009 he was appointed chairman of the board of the Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar.
He attended Hussey College Warri.
Air Commodore (retired) Ibrahim Kefas served as Military Administrator of Cross River State in Nigeria between December 1993 and September 1994, and then of Delta State until August 1996 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha.
As a Group Captain, Kefas was appointed governor of Delta State on 26 September 1994. While governor of Delta State, he sacked professor Frank Mene Adedemiswanye Ukoli, Vice-Chancellor of Delta State University for political reasons, an incident recorded in Ukoli’s book A state university is born: throes of birth, ordeals of growth.
In March 2002, as Taraba State Chairman of People’s Democratic Party, Kefas and other PDP politicians were attacked by over 200 youths who invaded a PDP rally, and narrowly escaped death.
Kefas was nominated as National Democratic Party) (NDP) candidate for governor in the 2007 elections in Taraba State. The winner was the PDP candidate, Danbaba Suntai.
Ibrahim Kefas was born into a Christian family on January 27, 1948 in Wukari, Taraba State. He is the oldest of many children born to Christian missionary Atewunu Angyu Kefas (Manu). His father, Manu, was one of the missionaries to introduce Christianity to the region. Being a very devout Christian, he put Ibrahim Kefas in Bible College by the age of thirteen hoping he would become a preacher. Ibrahim Kefas, being the youngest student in Bible College at time, completed his program before most but had other plans. He was fascinated by planes and wanted to fly them so he joined the Nigerian Defence Academy and became a pilot before he was 20 years old.
John David Dungs (3 February 1952 – 2 May 2014) served as Military Administrator of Delta State from August 1996 until August 1998 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha.
John David Dungs (3 February 1952 – 2 May 2014) served as Military Administrator of Delta State from August 1996 until August 1998 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha.
Dungs was a candidate to become the People’s Democratic Party candidate in the 2007 governorship elections for Plateau State. In April 2009, Dung was an unsuccessful contender to become traditional ruler of the Berom people in Jos.
Dungs died on 2 May 2014 en route to a hospital after collapsing at his residence in Rayfield, Jos. His death came within the week following the death of his father, Chief Dung Jok, the district head of Riyom.
Navy Commander (retired) Walter Feghabo served as the first Military Administrator of Ebonyi State in Nigeria between October 1996 and August 1998 after Ebonyi State was created from parts of Enugu State and Abia State during the military regime of General Sani Abacha. He was then appointed administrator of Delta State in August 1998 during the transitional regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar, handing over to the elected civilian governor James Ibori on 29 May 1999. In June 1999, all former military administrators in the Abacha and Abubakar regimes were retired by the Federal Government, including Walter Feghabo.
James Onanefe Ibori (born 4 August 1959) is a Nigerian politician who was Governor of Delta State in Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. An ethnic Urhobo by descent, Ibori is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He is an influential leader in the Niger Delta region and a national figure in Nigeria. In 2012, Ibori was sentenced to 13 years in prison for money laundering.
Born to the family of late Chief Ukavbe Ibori and Mrs. Comfort Oji Ibori of Otefe in Oghara clan, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, he attended Baptist High School, Oghareki, now Oghareki Grammar School, before proceeding to the University of Benin where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Statistics. Ibori moved to London, England in the 1980s where he married his wife, Theresa. He worked as a cashier at Wickes DIY store in Ruislip, Middlesex. In 1990, the couple were arrested for theft from the store, and fined £300. In 1991, he was convicted of handling a stolen credit card, and fined £100.
Returning to Nigeria, between 1994 and 1997 he served as a consultant to the Federal Government of President Sani Abacha, in the areas of public policy formulation and implementation. In 1999, Ibori took out a mortgage on a property in Abbey Road, London. To mask his previous convictions in the UK, he obtained a false birth certificate and then passport, medically impossible as it was dated a month after his elder sisters birthdate.
Ibori’s political career began in 1990 when he joined the National Republican Convention (NRC). In 1991, he was nominated to contest for the Federal House of Representatives seat, to represent Ethiope Federal Constituency. He lost the election to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate.
When the Sani Abacha Transition Programme kicked off, he joined the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM). The GDM clinched a good number of local, state and federal positions, including one of the three senatorial seats in the state. The transition programme was abruptly terminated with the death of Abacha. Ibori then with the leaders of other defunct political groups in Delta State, formed the Delta National Congress (DNC).
The DNC later merged with many others of like ideas to birth the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was on the platform of the PDP that he contested and won the January 9, 1999 Delta State Gubernatorial Election.
Proposed as governor of Delta State, under Nigerian law Ibori had to swear that he had no previous convictions. Using the false birth certificate and passport that he had used for the mortgage application in London, he passed the tests falsely, and was elected to become the governor from 1999.In 2003, he was re-elected as governor for another four-year term.
At the PDP’s ruling party’s pre-election convention in 2006, Ibori was present to lift up the hand of the victorious Umaru Yar’Adua. After Yar’Adua was selected as their presidential candidate, Ibori was accused of bank-rolling Yar’Adua’s 2007 campaign, and promised a Vice-Presidential position in return. But after Yar’Adua died in office, Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan succeeded Yar’Adua, an avowed political opponent of Ibori.
United Kingdom charges
Ibori’s corruption charges started with filling of petitions by his kinsmen under the auspices of Delta State Elders and Stateholders Forum influenced by the foremost Ijaw leader, Chief E. K. Clark, OFR, CON who was also the former Minister of Information. The petition was sent to Nuhu Ribadu,the head of Nigeria’s financial crimes agencies who initially failed to act on the petition which made the Forum, who, with other activists, revealed Ibori’s crimes and made spirited efforts to bring Ibori and EFCC before court to compel Ibori’s prosecution with the aid of their lawyer Kayode Ajulo.
In 2007, the Metropolitan Police raided the London offices of barrister Bhadresh Gohil. Hidden in a wall behind a fireplace, they found computer hard drives containing details of a myriad off-shore companies, run for Ibori by Gohil, fiduciary agent Daniel Benedict McCann, and corporate financier Lambertus De Boer. All of these men were later jailed for a total of 30 years.
As a result of these corruption allegations, the United Kingdom courts froze Ibori’s assets, valued at about £17 million ($35 million), in early August 2007. His wife, Nkoyo, was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London on 1 November 2007, in connection with the probe of her husband’s assets, particularly in the United Kingdom. She was released after being questioned. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Ibori denied allegations against him claiming they were politically motivated. He accused Nuhu Ribadu and the UK Courts of playing politics.
First set of Nigerian charges
On December 12, 2007, Ibori was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Kwara State Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja. The charges against him include theft of public funds, abuse of office, and money laundering. These corruption charges brought against Ibori by the government of former President Obasanjo are among many allegations by anticorruption czar Nuhu Ribadu against former officials of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP. Ribadu additionally alleged that Ibori attempted to bribe him to drop the charges with a cash gift of $15 million, which Ribadu immediately lodged in the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN. The cash remains in the CBN as an exhibit.
On December 17, 2009, A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, discharged and acquitted Ibori of all 170 charges of corruption brought against him by EFCC. The EFCC filed a notice of appeal against the December 17, 2009 judgement, and began a new round of investigations on the former governor following a petition by members of the Delta State Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum, which was made available to the public in March 2010.
Second set of Nigerian charges
In April 2010, about three months after the take over of government by former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ibori’s case file was reopened. A new allegation that he embezzled N40 billion ($266 million) was pressed against him. Attempts to arrest him were unsuccessful. It was reported that he fled from Abuja to Lagos and then to the creeks of Oghara, his homeland in the Niger Delta. It was reported that he has been guarded by armed militias and they once had a shoot out with government security forces.He claimed that the charges were frivolous and that he was a victim of political persecution.
In April 2010, Ibori fled Nigeria, prompting the EFCC to request the assistance of Interpol. On 12 July 2010 the Governor of the CBN, Malam Sanusi Lamido revealed that Ibori had used Delta State as collateral for N40 billion loan when he was governor.
Arrest in Dubai, extradition to UK
On 13 May 2010, Ibori was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates under Interpol arrest warrants, issued from United Kingdom courts and enacted by the Metropolitan Police.Ibori was granted bail pending an extradition hearing. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that the United Kingdom would “seek Mr Ibori’s extradition”.
The Nigerian government and the United Kingdom then agreed to work together on Ibori’s extradition to the United Kingdom. even as his movement became restricted by the Dubai authority. Punch Newspaper however reported on 27 May 2010, that Ibori was seeking political asylum in Dubai.
Ibori’s case and extradition became one of the longest, most complex and expensive operations mounted by Scotland Yard in recent years. Prosecutors alleged that companies owned by Ibori and his family were beneficiaries from the sale of state assets, including shares in a mobile telephone operator, as well as crude oil deliveries. The EFCC confirmed on Thursday June 10, 2010, that Ibori was in custody awaiting extradition to the UK.
Conviction of Associates
In London, where Ibori is being sought in the case of money laundering, the authority continued with the prosecution of his associates who were in the dock for helping Ibori to launder money.
On 1st and 2 June 2010, UK juries found James Ibori’s sister, Christine Ibie-Ibori and his associate, Udoamaka Okoronkwo, guilty on counts of money laundering, in a verdict delivered at the Southwark Crown Court, London.Mr. James Ibori, via his media aide released a statement questioning the validity of the verdict which he claimed absolved the two other women, Ms Okoronkwo and Adebimpe Pogoson who were charged alongside his sister.The jury’s verdict of 2 June 2010 however returned a guilty decision against Okoronkwo as well. Christine Ibie-Ibori and Udoamaka Okoronkwo were each sentenced to 5 years in prison on Monday 7 June 2010 by the UK court even as the defense counsel pleaded for mercy that the convicts were merely manipulated by James Ibori.
On 27 February 2012, accused of stealing US$250 million from the Nigerian public purse, Ibori pleaded guilty to ten counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court, London.
Following the guilty plea entered by Ibori, the EFCC brought before an Appeal Court the 6 year old ruling of a Federal High Court in Asaba which acquitted Ibori in 2009.They EFCC sought the court to set aside the ruling of the lower court on the grounds that the presiding judge, Justice Awokulehin, erred in law while delivering his judgement. A three-man panel of justices at the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal on May 15, 2014 ruled that the ex- governor has a case to answer. With this judgment, the coast is clear for Ibori to face further trial in Nigeria upon the completion of his jail term in London.
On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, Ibori was sentenced to 13 years by Southwark Crown Court for his crimes.Among possessions confiscated were:
- A house in Hampstead, north London, for £2.2m
- A property in Shaftesbury, Dorset, for £311,000
- A £3.2m mansion in Sandton, near Johannesburg, South Africa
- A fleet of armoured Range Rovers valued at £600,000
- A £120,000 Bentley Continental GT
- A Mercedes-Benz Maybach 62 bought for €407,000 cash, that was shipped direct to his mansion in South Africa
After the sentencing hearing, Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service central fraud group, said it would bid to confiscate the assets Ibori had acquired his riches “at the expense of some of the poorest people in the world”.
James Ibori was released from prison in December 2016 after a court order. He served 4 years out of the 13 years he was sentenced to.
Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan (born 22 October 1954) was the Governor of Delta State from 2007 to 2015. He assumed office via an inconclusive election on 29 May 2007 and is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). A medical doctor by profession, prior to becoming governor, he was the Commissioner for Health, Delta State and the Secretary to the State Government. Uduaghan ran again for governor in the 26 April 2011 elections, and was reelected.
Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan was born on 22 October 1954 in Warri North Local Government Area in Delta State of Itsekiri origin. He attended Federal Government College, Warri (1968–1974), and the University of Benin (1975–1980) earning a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) degree, and a Diploma in Anaesthesia. He is married, with two children.His wife, Roli, is the daughter of Brig. General Sunny E. Tuoyo (Rtd), a one time Military Administrator of Ondo State.
Emmanuel Uduaghan began work in 1983 at the Delta Steel Company, as a medical officer. From 1989 to 1994, he worked in a number of hospitals including Westend Hospital, Warri; Benoni Hospitals, Benin City and Shell Hospital,Ogunu, where he was a consultant anaesthesiologist. In 1994 he set up a private medical practice. He has held various positions in the Nigerian Medical Association in Warri, Bendel State and Delta State. He was also active in the Junior Chamber International (Jaycees) leadership development organization.
Emmanuel Uduaghan was a founding member and chairman of the All Nigeria Congress Association for the Warri South Local Government Area, a founder and executive member of the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), and a foundation member of the PDP. On 6 August 1999, the Governor of Delta State James Onanefe Ibori appointed Emmanuel Uduaghan as Commissioner for Health, Delta State. In this position he improved the pay of medical staff and upgraded infrastructure. On 6 June 2003, Uduaghan was appointed Secretary to the Delta State Government. In November 2008, Uduaghan and State Chief Justice Rosaline Bozimo approved establishment of sanitation mobile courts to prosecute sanitation offenders in the State.
Uduaghan ran again for governor in the 26 April 2011 elections, and was reelected. He gained 525,793 votes, while Chief Great Ogboru of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) was the runner-up with 433,834 votes.On 29 August 2018 he officially announced he has left PDP for APC.
Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (born 8 July 1959) is a Nigerian politician who is the incumbent Governor of Delta State. He was inaugurated as a governor on 29 May 2015 after winning the state elections conducted in April 2015. Before his governorship, he was elected senator for Delta North Senatorial District in Delta State, Nigeria, in the April 2011 national elections. He ran on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform. He is an Ika from Owa-Alero in Delta State, Nigeria. He is also the first person from Anioma to clinch the governorship position of Delta State. He was re-elected as the governor of Delta State on May 29, 2019.
Okowa was born at Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State. He attended Edo College, Benin City (1970–1976), then went on to the University of Ibadan where he studied Medicine and Surgery, graduating in 1981 with an MBBS degree. After leaving the National Youth Service Corps, he worked with the Bendel State Hospitals Management Board as a Medical Officer. He entered private practice as Director, Victory Medical Centre, Igbanke in 1986.
Okowa became Secretary to the Ika Local Government and then Chairman of the Ika North-East Local Government Council (1991–1993). He was Delta North Coordinator of the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM). He joined the PDP in 1998, and assisted in Governor James Ibori’s campaign in 1998/1999. He served as a Commissioner in the Delta State government for Agriculture and Natural Resources (July 1999 – April 2001), Water Resources Development (April 2001 – May 2003) and Health (September 2003 – October 2006).
Okowa resigned to contest in the 2007 Delta State PDP governorship primaries, but did not win the governorship primaries.In June 2007, Ifeanyi was appointed Secretary to the Delta state Government.
Ifeanyi was elected Delta North Senatorial candidate in the January 2011 PDP primaries with 942 votes, but the result was challenged by party leaders who favoured Marian Amaka Alli as candidate.He was re-elected in a rerun where he scored 1,446 votes, against 108 votes for Dr. Marian Alli. In the April 2011 election for the Delta North Senatorial seat, Ifeanyi won 98,140 votes, ahead of runner up Prince Ned Munir Nwoko of the Democratic People’s Party, who won 67,985 votes. It was reported that there was still tension regarding the election in January 2013. Ifeanyi finally clinched the ticket for the gubernatorial election in 2015 under the PDP with 406 votes on 8 December 2014. He won the Delta State Gubernatorial elections 2015 in April 2015 with 724,680 votes. He was inaugurated as Governor on 29 May 2015 and have since then resumed active duties. In the March 9, 2019 Governorship election, Okowa, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, got 925,274 votes to defeat his opponent, the All-Progressives Congress candidate, Great Ogboru, who garnered, 215,938 votes.
Award and Honour
- He was honoured as Man of the year 2017 by the Independent Newspaper at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. The award was presented by Alhaji Ismalis Isa Funtu.
- In 2017, he bagged the highest award of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan-Nigeria as the Alumni of the year 2016, where he successfully delivered a lecture titled “Good Governance for Wealth Creation and Sustainable Development: Experience and Lessons” at the 2017 edition of University of Ibadan Alumni lecture organised by the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA)