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Joseph Edet Akinwale Wey

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Vice Admiral Joseph Edet Akinwale Wey (March 6, 1918 – December 12, 1991)[1] was a Nigerian naval officer who served, at various times, as head of the Nigerian Navy (i.e. Chief of Naval Staff),[2] acting Foreign Minister,[3] and Chief of Staff of the Supreme Headquarters,[4] making him the de facto Vice President of Nigeria during Yakubu Gowon's regime.

Vice Admiral Joseph Edet Akinwale Wey
De Facto 2nd Vice President of Nigeria
In office
July 29, 1966 – July 29, 1975
President Yakubu Gowon
Preceded by Brig. Babafemi Ogundipe
Succeeded by Brig. Olusegun Obasanjo
Chief of Naval Staff
In office
Preceded by Commodore A.R. Kennedy
Succeeded by Vice Adm. N.B. Soroh
Personal details
Nationality Nigerian
Political party None (military)
Military service
Allegiance  Nigeria
Service/branch Badge of the Nigerian Navy.svg Nigerian Navy
Years of service 1940-1975

Born in Calabar in March 1918 to a Yoruba father and an Ibibio/Efik mother, Admiral Wey had his early education in Calabar, Cross River State and at Methodist School, Ikot Ekpene in present Akwa Ibom State; and further education in Lagos. He joined the Marine Department as a cadet and engineer in training around 1940. At the end of his training in 1945, he served in all sea-going vessels in the Marine Department. When the Navy was established in 1956, he was transferred to the Navy as a sub-lieutenant. In 1962, he was appointed as the commanding officer of base and naval officer in charge of Apapa, Lagos. In 1966, he was appointed as the Federal Commissioner of Establishment and he became a member of the federal Executive Council. He was promoted to various ranks and to the final rank of vice-admiral.

His military ranks were:

  • Marine engineer, 1950
  • Sub-lieutenant and engineer, 1956
  • Lieutenant, 1958
  • Lieutenant commander, 1960
  • Captain, 1963
  • Commodore, 1964
  • Rear-admiral, 1967
  • Vice-admiral, 1971

He was retired in 1975 following the successful coup that brought Murtala Mohammed [4] to power, replacing the military government of General Yakubu Gowon. He died 12 December 1991.[1]


  1. ^ a b Aginam, Arthur-Martins (December 1991). "For Whom The Bell Tolls - Nigeria's first naval chief dies at 73". African Concord.
  2. ^ Siollun, Max. "Aburi: The "Sovereign National Conference" That Got Away". Gamji. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
  3. ^ "An Attentive Listener". Time. Time Warner. 1970-03-02. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
  4. ^ a b Mohammed, Murtala. "Murtala Muhammed's First Address to Nigeria". Nigerian Village Square. Retrieved 2007-06-16.