|Birth||10 July 1961|
Liyel (born 10 July 1961) was elected governor of Cross River State in Nigeria in April 2007, taking office on 29 May 2007. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Liyel Imoke is an Igbo from Agbo Clan in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State. His father, Dr. Samuel Imoke was a medical doctor who became a cabinet minister and leader of Parliament in the former Eastern Region. Liyel Imoke was born on 10 July 1961 at Ibadan in the then Western Region of Nigeria.
Liyel Imoke attended Mary Knoll College, Okuku, Ogoja and then the Federal Government College, Enugu (1973–1977) for his secondary education. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Economics at the University of Maryland in the United States in 1982.
He then studied Law at the University of Buckingham, England, gaining an LLB degree in 1985, and then studied at the American University in Washington, D.C. where he gained a master’s degree in Law. He completed his legal education at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, in 1988.
Liyel Imoke practiced law in Washington, D. C. and Lagos between 1982 and 1992. He was principal partner of Liyel Imoke and Co., Lagos.
Early political career
In 1992, Liyel Imoke was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the age of 30 during the Ibrahim Babangida transition government. His term ended with the dissolution of the government in November 1993 by the military regime headed by General Sani Abacha.
Between 1993 and 1999, he was a Managing Consultant at Telsat Communications, Lagos; Executive Chairman of Value Mart Nigeria, Lagos, and Executive Director of Trident Petroleum and Gas, Lagos.
In 1999, he was appointed a Special Adviser on Public Utilities by President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was Executive Chairman of the Special Board charged with winding down the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission.
He was Chairman of Technical Board of the National Electric Power Authority.
Minister of Power and Steel
In July 2003, Liyel Imoke was appointed Federal Minister of Power and Steel, and for a while was also Federal Minister of Education. Imoke implemented reforms laid out in the Nigerian Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, leading to establishment of the Nigerian Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the unbundling of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).
In 2008, the House of Representatives set up a panel to look into how $16 billion for the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) was disbursed, asking for testimony by Liyel Imoke and Olusegun Agagu, who had also served as Minister of Power and Steel. The panel cleared Imoke of wrongdoing.
In July 2008 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said that Liyel Imoke was under investigation. Imoke had lost his constitutional immunity after his election as governor of Cross River state had been annulled.
Governor of Cross River State
In April 2007, Liyel Imoke successfully ran for governor of Cross River State on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform. He took office on 29 May 2007. The election was annulled by an Election Appeal Tribunal in July 2008. He was elected again in a re-run on 23 August 2008.