The Nigerian Defence Academy was established in February 1964 as a reformation of the British run Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC), which had been renamed the Nigerian Military Training College on independent. It trains officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces which are the Navy, Army and AirForce respectively. It started with a class of about 62 cadets, and their trainers were mostly officers in the Indian Army. It started offering Undergraduate programs in 1985 and it now currently offers post graduate studies for Msc and Ph.D for both Military and Civilian students. The first set of female cadets commenced training in September 2011. As of 2019, its total cadet class is about 2500.
Below are the list of Commandants since its establishment:
1. Brigadier M.R. Varma 1964 - 1969 (Indian national and 1st Commandant)
2. Major General David Ejoor 1969 - 1971 (1st Nigerian Commandant)
3. Major General Adeyinka Adebayo 1971
4. Major General E.O. Ekpo March 1971 - Feb 1975
5. Brigadier illiya Bisalla Feb 1975 - August 1975
6. Brigadier Gibson Jalo 1975 - 1978
7. Brigadier E.S Armah 1978
8. Brigadier Joseph Garba 1978 - 1979
9. Brigadier Zamani Lekwot 1979 - 1982
10. Brigadier Abdullahi Shelleng 1982 - 1984
11. Major General Paul Tarfa 1984 - 1985
12. Lieutenant General Salihu Ibrahim 1988 - 1990
13. Lieutenant General Garba Duba 1990 - 1992
14. Lieutenant General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau 1992 - 1993
15. Lieutenant General Mohammed Balarebe Haladu 1993 - 1994
16. Air Mashal Al-Amin Daggash 1994 - 1998
17. Major General PG Sha 2000 - 2002
18. Major General Okon Edet Okon 2002 - 2003
19 Major General Akpa 2004 - 2006
20. Major General Harris Dzarma 2006 - 2008
21. Major General Mamuda Yerima 2008 - 2010
22. Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu 2010 - 2013
24. Major General Muhammad Iniwa Idris 2013 - 2015
25. Major General M.T. Ibrahim 2015 - 2017
26. Major General A. OyebadeOctober 2017 - November 2019
27. Major General Sarham Jamilu November 2019 till date
The Commandant of the NDA has the highest authority in the Academy. He oversees the affairs of the Academy and the Cadets.
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