June 1993 The military, led by acting President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, annuls presidential election results. Polls indicate that the vote had been won by businessman Moshood Abiola. Babangida eventually cedes power to a transitional civilian government, pending elections planned for 1994.
November 1993 Gen. Sani Abacha forces out the transitional civilian government and establishes a military regime.
May 1994 Abacha cracks down on the opposition, resulting in a largely boycotted election. Two weeks later, Abiola declares himself the rightful president. Abiola is arrested and jailed for treason in June.
July 1994 Petroleum workers launch a strike demanding that Abiola be released and declared president. The strike, which soon spreads and paralyzes much of Nigeria, ends in August as the government begins a new crackdown on opponents.
June/July 1995 Claiming it had uncovered a coup plot, the government secretly arrests and convicts 40 alleged ringleaders. Opposition sympathizers are also caught up in the dragnet of arrests.
October 1995 Abacha announces a three-year timetable for a return to democratic government.
November 1995 Writer, political activist and leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ken Saro-Wiwa, along with eight other Ogoni activists, are executed by the Nigerian military government after being charged with the murder of four tribal leaders. The executions are widely condemned across the world. The executions are just a few of many deaths among critics of the Abacha military government.
December 1997 Less than 10 percent of the electorate vote in local elections after it becomes clear Abacha has co-opted the electoral process. Another suspected coup leads the government to arrest over 60 people.
June 1998 Abacha dies. Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar assumes leadership of Nigeria. Abubakar institutes government reforms, frees political prisoners and promises a return to democratic government.
July 1998 Abiola dies in prison of an apparent heart attack a day before his release, sparking violent riots.
August 1998 Abubakar establishes the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct elections and formalizes a timetable for return to civilian rule.
December 1998 to February 1999 The electoral commission successfully conducts local, state, federal, and presidential elections.
February 1999 Retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo is elected president, ending 16 years of military rule.
May 1999 Moments before taking the oath of office, Obasanjo is presented a copy of the new constitution, finalized in secret by the outgoing Abubakar regime. In his first speech to a joint session of Parliament in June, Obasanjo pledges to make fighting corruption the centerpiece of his administration.
June 1999 In a special closed session, the National Assembly debates whether to increase their housing allowances to 18 million nairas (US$140,000) per year. The debate comes shortly after a divisive campaign by teachers and civil servants to institute a 4,000 nairas (US$30)-per-month minimum wage.
July 1999 Ibrahim Salisu Buhari, the first speaker of the House under Obasanjo, resigns when it is discovered that he lied about his academic background and age. Buhari pleads guilty to forgery and perjury and is fined 2,500 nairas (US$20) but is pardoned the following year.
June 2000 The National Assembly passes legislation to create the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), which is inaugurated in September.
July 2000 A government investigation finds evidence of inflated procurement contracts in the National Assembly, some awarded to companies in which legislators had a financial interest. High-level officials are implicated, including Senate President Chuba Okadigbo and Senate Deputy President Alhaji Haruna Abubakar.
August 2000 Okadigbo is impeached for corruption and misappropriation of funds. After his impeachment, Okadigbo is indicted for spending public money on cars and car furnishings and resigns in October. The indictment is eventually dropped.
October 2000 President Obasanjo is accused by eight House members of bribing them to help oust Speaker of the House Ghali Na'Abba, whom Obasanjo attacked for his corruption. The legislators dramatically unload the alleged bribes on the House floor.
October 2000 Construction begins on one of Obasanjo's pet projects a modern sports stadium in Abuja. The estimated cost of 49 billion nairas (US$380 million) eventually goes hundreds of millions over budget.
February 2002 A government anti-corruption commission issues its first indictment of a high-level official, accusing Justice Garba Abdullahi of demanding a 1.2 million naira (US$9,000) bribe from a businessman to reverse an adverse ruling.
April 2002 The House unanimously strikes down a measure signed into law that would have outlawed the formation of new political parties ahead of the 2003 presidential election, claiming Obasanjo had inserted new language into the bill after it was submitted to him.
August 2002 The National Assembly accuses Obasanjo of 17 separate indictable offenses including incompetence, disregard for the rule of law and corruption.
September 2002 The ICPC obtains its first conviction, sentencing local government chairman Emmanuel Egwuba to three years in prison for awarding a contract without budgetary approval.
January 2003 Auditor-General Vincent Azie's report covering the 2001 financial year chronicles corruption, including a number of suspicious payments and honoraria to politicians, and criticizes all branches of government. Obasanjo fires Azie in February.
February 2003 The National Assembly passes a bill replacing the ICPC with a less powerful anti-corruption entity, which Obasanjo subsequently vetoes. The Assembly's attempt to override the veto in May is ruled illegal by the Federal High Court.
April 2003 Obasanjo wins re-election in the first civilian-run presidential elections since the end of military rule. International observers note serious irregularities during balloting.
November 2003 A government report details the systematic looting of the once-prosperous Nigeria Airways airline and implicates 90 people in its downfall. The report recommends prosecution of several individuals and pursuing the 51 billion nairas (US$400 million) looted by companies and government officials.
December 2003 After the ICPC announces it is probing a bribery scandal involving French firm Sagem SA, Obasanjo fires Labor Minister Hussaini Zannuwa Akwanga. Sagem won a 27 billion naira (US$214 million) contract to produce national identity cards. At month's end, prosecutors charge five people, including Akwanga and two other former ministers, with taking up to 128 million nairas (US$1 million) in bribes from Sagem.
June 2004 Shell, one of the largest oil contractors in Nigeria, admits it has inadvertently contributed to the country's poverty, environmental degradation, violence and corruption through its business activities but spurns calls for the company to leave. As a good faith gesture, Shell contributes millions of dollars to support various community development projects and formulates "13 big rules" to make sure those contributions are not misappropriated. It also claims to have fired 29 employees in 2003 for corruption.
March 2005 Education Minister Fabian Osuji is fired for allegedly bribing the National Assembly to secure more funds for his ministry. He formally protests that such behavior is common at all levels of government. In April, Senate Speaker Adolphus Wabara resigns after President Obasanjo accuses him of accepting Osuji's 51 million naira (US$400,000) bribe.
April 2005 President Obasanjo fires Housing Minister Alice Mobolaji Osomo after it is alleged hundreds of properties were sold below market value to top officials instead of going on public sale.
November 2005 The European Commission approves 24.7 million euros (US$31 million) to support the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies. By August 2006, the EFCC in its three years of operation will have arrested and investigated more than 5,000 people, secured 82 convictions and recovered 641 billion nairas (US$5 billion) in looted assets.
November 2005 Former chief of police Tafa Balogun is convicted and sentenced to six months in jail for extorting more than 13 billion nairas (US$100 million) during his three-year tenure.
December 2005 Environment Minister Iyorcha Ayu resigns after lawmakers raise concerns about various procurement deals he handled.
December 2005 Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, governor of the oil-rich Bayelsa state, is arrested on 40 counts of corruption and money laundering. In July 2006, British authorities return about 1 million pounds (US$1.9 million) of the allegedly illicit gains that he stashed in British banks. Six months later, the EFCC proclaims that at least 24 state governors will face corruption charges at the end of their tenures in May 2007, when their constitutional immunity from prosecution expires.
April 2006 Record high oil prices enable Nigeria to be the first African country to pay off its debt to the Paris Club, an informal group of financial officials from the world's richest countries.
May 2006 The Senate rejects a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed President Obasanjo to run for a third term in 2007.
August 2006 Switzerland's ambassador to Nigeria announces the 90 billion nairas (US$700 million) looted by former president Sani Abacha and deposited in Swiss banks has almost completely been repatriated to Nigeria. A remaining 900 million nairas (US$7 million) is still being held in the account of an unnamed Nigerian who seeks to prove that the money was honestly earned by Abacha.
Aug. 11, 2006 Nigeria's anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says it will publish the names of all past and present political leaders who have stolen money from the treasury. Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, head of the EFCC, said more than US$400 billion of oil revenue had been stolen. Ribadu asserts the commission will "close the accounts of those politicians who have laundered money and converted it for their political ambitions" and promises that it will closely monitor the use of revenue allocated to the three levels of government federal, state and local to make sure the money was not laundered.
April 2007 Umaru Yar'Adua, head of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) wins controversial presidential elections by a landslide. He gains 70 percent of the votes, yet EU observers claim the elections do not meet international standards and are not credible. According to the European Union, around 200 people have died ever since campaigning began. The two main opposition parties tell their supporters to reject the results and demand a re-run. Muhammadu Buhari, one of the opposition candidates, and Atiku Abubakar, former vice president turned opposition candidate, accuse the governing PDP. of rigging the elections. Nigeria's biggest election monitoring group says the presidential poll is so flawed that it should be scrapped and held again.
May 2007 Nigeria's Justice minister condemns the unconstitutional handover of power between two men accused of corruption, in the state of Abia. Theodore Orji, while in police custody, won the elections for state governor in April. He was freed on bail for his inauguration ceremony. Uzor Orji Kalu, the outgoing governor, steps down early and flees the country. Elected officials in Nigeria have immunity from prosecution. Nigeria's anti-corruption agency EFCC said it wants to investigate Mr. Kalu on allegations of corruption. It warned that several politicians could seek to leave the country before their mandates and immunity from prosecution expire.
December 2007 James Ibori, former governor of Delta State, and others are arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on charges of abuse of office, corruption and money laundering. The EFCC had been investigating him over alleged money laundering and embezzlement of Delta State funds for a few years. He was believed to have stolen tens of billions of naira during his eight-year tenure as governor of the state.
Police authorities confirm that the chairman of the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, will take a one-year study leave at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), in Kuru, Plateau State. Some critics such as Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka believe Ribadu's removal was an effort for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) to gain more control over the anti-graft agency. It has been argued that Ibori's arrest by the EFCC contributed to tensions between Ribadu and the Yar'Adua administration. Ibori, a fellow PDP member of Yar'Adua, provided key financing to Yar'Adua's presidential campaign.
January 2008 Nigerian newspaper, This Day, reports, the Niger Delta's most formidable militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), "vows to cripple oil exports from the Niger Delta region by providing arms including anti-aircraft gunships to the leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante Movement, Mr Ateke Tom in what it said was a renewed bid to counter any possible offensive by Federal Government's Joint-military Task Force against it."
February 2008 The presidential Election Tribunal dismisses the petitions of the April 2007 presidential elections by candidates from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and Action Congress (AC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. These former candidates asked that President Yar'Adua's electoral victory be annulled.
June 2008 Nigerian newspaper, The Daily Trust, reports, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, national chairman of the PDP, recommends on behalf of PDP that "a system of tenure of seven (7) years for the President, six years for Governors and three years for Local Government Chairmen. In the case of Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly elections, candidates may continue to seek re-election as long as they are electable." In April, Ogbulafor predicted that the PDP will rule Nigeria for the next 60 years.