Past Governors of Imo State

Rear Admiral (retired) Ndubuisi Godwin Kanu

15 March 1976  –  1977

Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Godwin Kanu (rtd) was became military governor of Imo State, Nigeria in March 1976 during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo. He was the first governor after the decree that established the state from part of the old East Central State. He was transferred to become governor of Lagos State in 1977, leaving office in July 1978.

 Admiral Adekunle Shamusideen Lawal

July 1975 – 1977

Admiral Adekunle Shamusideen Lawal Succeeded Ndubuisi Kanu was governor of Imo State in 1977. He was born on 8 February 1934, in Lagos Nigeria. He was appointed military governor of Lagos State, Nigeria in July 1975 after the coup that brought General Murtala Muhammed to power. Admiral Lawal held the position of Lagos State Military Governor until 1977, when he was transferred to become governor of Imo State in 1977. He held this position until July 1978, after which he resumed his career in the Nigerian Navy

Sunday Ajibade Adenihun

July 1978  –  October 1979

Sunday Ajibade Adenihun was appointed military governor of Imo State in Nigeria from July 1978 to October 1979 during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo.

Adenihun was born on 12 March 1940 at Iree, near Ikirun in Osun State.

In October 1979 Adenihun handed over to the administration of the first civilian governor of Imo State in the Nigerian Second Republic, Chief Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe. He died of a heart attack in the United States on 25 November 2008

Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe

October 1979 –  31 December 1983

Samuel “Sam” Onunaka Mbakwe (1929 – 5 January 2004) was an Igbo politician and governor of Imo State, southern Nigeria from 1 October 1979 until 31 December 1983. The Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, which is located in Owerri, the state capital, was renamed after him. In 1981, Sam Mbakwe set up Imo State University. The campus was located in a territory that was ceded to Abia State in 1991 and was re-christened Abia State University. However, Imo State University acquired a new campus in Owerri and still exist

Ike Nwachukwu

Jan. 1984 –  August 1985

Ike Omar Sanda Nwachukwu mni (born September 1, 1940) is a retired Army officer and Nigerian politician who, among other positions, has served as Foreign Minister of Nigeria twice and as a Senator in the National Assembly delegation from Abia State.,

Born on September 1, 1941 in Port Harcourt to an Igbo father and a Fulani mother of Katsina.

Nwachukwu had his early education at the Ladi-Lak Institute, Yaba, Lagos, and Lagos City College, also in Yaba, Lagos. He obtained military training at the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna, at the Royal Canadian School of Infantry, and at the School of Infantry, Warminster, United Kingdom.

Nwachukwu held the position of Military Governor of Imo State, where he moved Imo State University (now Abia State University) in Uturu to its permanent site.

Allison Amaechina Madueke

August 1985 – 1986

Rear Admiral Allison Amaechina Madueke (born 1944) is a retired Nigerian naval officer. He was Chief of Naval Staff from 1993 to 1994, military military governor of Anambra State from January 1984 to August 1985, and Imo State military governor from 1985 to 1986.

Allison Madueke was born in 1944 in Agbariji-Inyi, Oji River, Enugu State, and is of Igbo origin. He attended the Britannia Royal College, Dartmouth England and the School of Maritime Operations, Southwick. He became a Member of the Royal Institute of Navigation, London (MRIN) and Member of the Nautical Institute, London (MNI).

 Amadi Ikwechegh


Commodore Amadi Guy Ikwechegh (Born February  25 1951 – 10 November 2009) was a Nigerian naval officer who was appointed military governor of Imo State from 1986 to 1989 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

Amadi Ikwechegh was born on 25 February 1951 in Amakpo, Igbere in Bende, Abia State. He attended Township School in Aba and the Nigerian Military School, Zaria (1963 to 1966), and attended the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna in 1971. He was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant in 1974. He then studied at Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, England, the Royal Hydrographic School, Australia and the Naval School of Oceanography, USA. He attended the Armed Forces Command & Staff College, Jaji, and also earned a masters in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan. 

Anthony E. Oguguo

1990- 1992

Navy Commodore Anthony E. Oguguo was appointed military governor of Imo State in Nigeria from 1990 to 1992 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. During his administeration, Imo State airport was commissioned and built and still operates today. He very famously said “I saw money and looked away, it is not everything; we can all do the same and teach it to our children.”

His administration took a strong hold with Trade Unions. In 1991 he demanded a list of absentee workers who were striking for a minimum wage of N380.As governor, he commissioned the 100 bed Osina Community hospital in 1991. He was a member of the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC), and was involved in the decisions about the transition to democracy, leading to the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic

 Evan Enwerem


Evan Enwerem (October 29, 1935 – August 2, 2007) was a Nigerian politician who served as President of the Nigerian Senate in 1999. He was a member of the People’s Democratic Party.

Evan Enwerem was born in Ikeduru, Imo State, Nigeria, on October 29, 1935. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

Evan Enwerem served as chairman of the Nigerian Airports Authority NAA between 1980 and 1983. He was elected governor of Imo State in 1991 during the failed Third Republic era of Nigerian government.

Evan Enwerem was elected to the Nigerian Senate in 1999 to represent the Imo-East Senatorial Zone. He became the first President of the Nigerian Senate during Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. Enwerem beat his chief rival, Senator Chuba Okadigbo, for the Senate presidency on June 3, 1999.

 James N.J. Aneke

9 December 1993 – 22 August 1996

Navy Captain James N.J. Aneke was appointed military governor of Imo State in Nigeria from December 1993 to August 1996 during the military regime of General Sani Abacha.

In April 2009, Commodore (retired) James Aneke joined the People’s Democratic Party.

Tanko Zubairu

22 Aug 1996 – 29 May 1999

Colonel Tanko Zubairu was the Military Administrator of Imo State, Nigeria from August 1996 until May 1999, when he handed over to the elected civilian governor Achike Udenwa. During his tenure, he had to deal with violent protests over ritual killings. In 1997 he signed warrants for execution by firing squad of six men accused of this crime.

Achike Udenwa

29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007

Achike Udenwa was the governor of Imo State in Nigeria.

He became governor after winning the election in 1999.

Udenwa won re-election in 2003, and his term ended on 29 May 2007.

He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party. Udenwa is also an Igbo chief. He was succeeded by Chief Ikedi Ohakim on 29 May 2007.

In December 2008, President Umaru Yar’Adua appointed him Minister of Commerce and Industry.

He left office in March 2010 when Acting President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved his cabinet.

 Ikedi Ohakim

29 May 2007 – May 2011

Ikedi Ohakim (born 1957) is a Nigerian businessman who became governor of Imo State in the South Eastern region in May 2007, standing for the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). He later switched to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)

Ikedi Ohakim was born on 4 August 1957 in Okohia in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State. He attended the University of Lagos, gaining a B.Sc. in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Management. Ikedi Ohakim worked for over 15 years at First Aluminium and then at Tower Groups. He became Executive Director of Alucon in 1997, and later became Chairman of Mekalog Group, an engineering firm supplying the defense, security, construction, fabrication, oil and gas sectors.

Ikedi Ohakim is married to Barrister Chioma Ohakim. They have five children

 Rochas Okorocha

29 May 2011

Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (born 22 September 1962) is a Nigerian multi billionaire and politician from Imo State, Nigeria who won the 6 May 2011 gubernatorial election in Imo State and was reelected for his second term on April 11, 2015. In his first attempt, he ran on the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) platform and ran on the All Progressives Congress in his second shot. In both occasions, Rochas defeated his closest rival, incumbent governor Ikedi Ohakim and serving Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, by a close margin of votes and had to go for reruns.

Rochas, an Igbo, was born on 22 September 1962 in Ogboko, Ideato South, Imo State. He attended Juladaco High School, Jos (1976-1981). He studied at the University of Jos (1990-1991), obtaining a diploma in Public Administration. He returned to the University of Jos (1993-1994) to obtain an advanced diploma in Public Administration. Career positions include President, Nigeria Red Cross Society, President/Founder, Rochas Foundation Inc, President, Rochas Group of Companies Limited, Pro Chancellor, African Business School and Former Chairman, Board of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.