Chief of Army Staff (Nigeria)

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has been the title of the professional head of the Nigerian Army since 1966.[1] Prior to 1966, the title was General Officer Commanding, Nigerian Army (GOCNA). Since 1980, the post has been immediately subordinate to the Chief of Defence Staff, the post held by the professional head of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The position is often occupied by the most senior commissioned officer appointed by the President of Nigeria.[2]

Chief of Army Staff
Seal of the Chief of Army Staff
Flag of the Chief of Army Staff
Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja
since 23 June 2023
 Nigerian Army
Member of
  • National Security Council
  • National Defence Council
Reports toChief of Defence Staff
SeatNigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja
AppointerPresident of Nigeria
Inaugural holderKenneth G. Exham
Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi (indigenous)
(67 years ago)

The current Chief of Army Staff is Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, who succeeded Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, in June 2023.

Role Edit

In the chain of command, the Chief of Army Staff reports to the Chief of Defence Staff, who in turn, reports to the Defence Minister, accountable to the President of Nigeria.[3] The Statutory duty of the Officer is to formulate and execute policies towards the highest attainment of National Security and operational competence of the Nigerian Army.[4]

Chiefs of the Nigerian Army Edit

Following is a chronological list of officers holding the position of General Officer Commanding (GOC) or Chief of Army Staff (COAS).[5]

General Officer Commanding Edit

No. Portrait General Officer Commanding Took office Left office Time in office
1Exham, KennethMajor general
Kenneth G. Exham
195619592–3 years
2Foster, NormanMajor general
Norman Foster
195919633–4 years
3Mackenzie, JohnMajor general
John Alexander Mackenzie
196319630 years
4Welby-Everard, ChristopherMajor general
Sir Christopher Welby-Everard
1963February 19651–2 years
5Aguiyi-Ironsi, JohnsonMajor general
Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi
Later military ruler
February 196515 January 19660–1 years

Chief of Army Staff Edit

No. Portrait Chief of Army Staff Took office Left office Time in office Ref.
1Gowon, YakubuLieutenant colonel
Yakubu Gowon FSS
(born 1934)
Later military ruler
January 1966July 19666 months[citation needed]
2Akahan, JosephLieutenant colonel
Joseph Akahan OFR FSS
July 1966May 1968 †1 year, 9 months[citation needed]
3Katsina, HassanMajor general
Hassan Usman Katsina RCDS, PSC
May 1968January 19712 years, 8 months[citation needed]
4Ejoor, DavidMajor general
David Ejoor
January 1971July 19754 years, 6 months[citation needed]
5Danjuma, TheophilusLieutenant general
Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma
(born 1938)
July 1975October 19794 years, 3 months[citation needed]
6Akinrinade, IpoolaLieutenant general
Ipoola Alani Akinrinade CFR FSS
(born 1939)
later Chief of Defence Staff
October 1979April 19806 months[citation needed]
7Jalo, GibsonLieutenant general
Gibson Jalo CFR FSS, JSS
later Chief of Defence Staff
April 1980October 19811 year, 6 months[citation needed]
8Wushishi, MohammedLieutenant general
Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi CFR FSS
October 1981October 19832 years[citation needed]
9Babangida, IbrahimMajor general
Ibrahim Babangida
(born 1941)
Later military ruler
January 1984August 19851 year, 7 months[citation needed]
10Abacha, SaniLieutenant general
Sani Abacha GCON , DSS, mni
Later military ruler
August 1985August 19905 years[citation needed]
11Abacha, SaniLieutenant general
Salihu Ibrahim FSS , FHWC
August 1990September 19933 years, 1 month[citation needed]
12Gusau, AliyuLieutenant general
Aliyu Mohammed Gusau DSS, rcds
(born 1943)
September 1993November 19932 months[citation needed]
13Alli, ChrisMajor general
Chris Alli CRG, DSS, ndc, psc(+)
(born 1944)
November 1993August 19949 months[citation needed]
14Kazir, AlwaliMajor general
Alwali Kazir DSS, Usawc, psc(+)
(born 1947)
August 1994March 19961 year, 7 months[citation needed]
15Bamaiyi, IshayaLieutenant general
Ishaya Bamaiyi DSS, Usawc, psc(+)
(born 1949)
March 1996May 19993 years, 2 months[citation needed]
16Malu, VictorLieutenant general
Victor Malu DSS, mni, fwc, psc
May 1999April 20011 year, 11 months[citation needed]
17Ogomudia, AlexanderLieutenant general
Alexander Ogomudia
(born 1949)
Later Chief of Defence Staff
April 2001June 20032 years, 2 months[citation needed]
18Agwai, MartinLieutenant general
Martin Luther Agwai
(born 1948)
Later Chief of Defence Staff
June 2003June 20063 years[citation needed]
19Azazi, OwoyeLieutenant general
Owoye Andrew Azazi
Later Chief of Defence Staff
1 June 2006May 200711 months[citation needed]
20Yusuf, LukaLieutenant general
Luka Yusuf CFR, GSS, GPP, DSO, psc(+), fwc, Msc
June 2007August 20081 year, 3 months[citation needed]
21Dambazau, AbdulrahmanLieutenant general
Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau CFR, GSS, psc, ndc, fwc(+)
(born 1954)
August 2008September 20102 years, 1 month[citation needed]
22Ihejirika, AzubuikeLieutenant general
Azubuike Ihejirika CFR, GSS, psc(+), fwc, fniqs
(born 1956)
September 2010January 20143 years, 4 months[6]
23Minimah, KennethLieutenant general
Kenneth Minimah GSS, psc(+), fwc
(born 1959)
January 2014July 20151 year, 6 months[7]
24Buratai, TukurLieutenant general
Tukur Yusuf Buratai NAM, GSS, psc(+), ndc (BD)
(born 1960)
16 July 201528 January 20215 years, 6 months[8]
25Attahiru, IbrahimLieutenant general
Ibrahim Attahiru
28 January 202121 May 2021 †3 months[9][10]
26Yahaya, FaroukLieutenant general
Farouk Yahaya
(born 1966)
27 May 202123 June 20232 years[11][12]
27Lagbaja, TaoreedLieutenant general
Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja
(born 1968)
23 June 2023Incumbent3 months[13]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan sacks military chiefs". BBC News. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  2. ^ "President sacks Service Chiefs, names replacements". Daily Independent. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Minimah, Jibrin, Amosu Appointed Service Chiefs". Thisdaylive. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Chief of Army Staff vows military will end insurgency". Premium Times. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Chronicle of Command". The Nigerian Army. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Former Chief of Army Staff, GENERAL AZUBUIKE IHEJIRIKA set to join Abia guber race". 14 February 2014.
  7. ^ "More retirement looms in the Army: Gen. Minimah tipped to succeed Gen. Ihejirika". DailyPost Nigeria.
  8. ^ George, Agba. "Major General TY Buratai New Chief Of Army Staff". Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Buhari don sack im service chiefs, appoint new ones - see di new ones here" – via
  10. ^ "Nigerian army chief Ibrahim Attahiru killed in air crash". BBC. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  11. ^ "New Chief of Army Staff: Buhari appoint Major General Farouk Yahaya to replace late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru". BBC News Pidgin. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  12. ^ "Buhari names Major-General Farouk Yahaya as new army chief". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  13. ^ Ariemu, Ogaga (20 June 2023). "10 interesting things to know about new COAS, Maj Gen Lagbaja". Daily Post Nigeria. Retrieved 23 August 2023.