The process to remove a governor is usually initiated by petitioning the state election commission or the judiciary, which will then investigate the allegations and, if warranted, hold a trial. Ultimately, it is up to the courts to determine whether or not a governor should be removed from office.

Pulse presents a list of governors who have been sacked by Nigerian courts since 2012.

Ademola Adeleke was celebrated as ‘the people’s choice’ and recorded arguably one of the most applauded electoral victories in Nigeria. After winning the gubernatorial election in 2022, Adeleke was sworn in on November 27, 2022. While she was in office, her victory against Adegboyega Oyetola, the ousted governor, was challenged in court. However, by January 27, 2023, the court had declared Oyetola the winner of the Osun state gubernatorial election.

Dave Umahi’s dismissal, pronounced on March 8, 2022, plunged the Nigerian judiciary into internal controversy. The Abuja Federal High Court dismissed Umahi and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, for defecting from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), on whose platform they were elected in 2019, to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Umahi appealed the sentence, and the court reversed the sentence in October 2022.

Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Ibrahim Idris (Kogi) and Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto) were dismissed on January 27, 2012, after a seven-member panel of the Court Suprema decided that they were way behind in office.

The five governors had seen their elections annulled. New elections were held and the governors went to court to challenge INEC’s insistence that, despite the reruns, their terms would end on May 29, 2011.