Emmanuel Dangana Ocheja

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Emmanuel Dangana Ocheja
Senator Ocheja.JPG
Senator of the 7th National Assembly
Preceded by Nicholas Ugbane
Constituency Kogi East
Personal details
Born April 3
Idah, Kogi State
Political party

All Progressives Congress (January 2015-Date)

People's Democratic Party (Nigeria) (2001-2014)
Spouse(s) Mrs. A.P Ocheja
Alma mater Ahmadu Bello University (LLB)
Occupation Lawyer
Profession Politician, Lawyer
Website danganaocheja.com

Emmanuel Dangana Ocheja is a former Nigerian Senator who represented Kogi East senatorial district in the National Assembly, and a member of the All Progressives Congress.[1][2]

He is the principal of Dangana Global Legal Services (formerly Dangana, Musa & Co), a law firm based in Abuja, Kano and Lagos states in Nigeria.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Ocheja was born in Idah, Kogi State. He is a graduate of law from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.

Ocheja was born into the family of Mallam Yusuf Okpanachi Ocheja (father) and Princess Ajuma Ocheja (née Obaje) (mother). He is a member of the royal establishment of the Igala Kingdom as a direct descendant of HRM Aiyegba oma Idoko (father of Inikpi). His Mother is a sister to the immediate past Atta (King) of the Igala Kingdom HRM Dr. Aliyu Obaje GCFR.[4]

He enrolled in St. Boniface Primary school in Idah where he obtained his first school leaving certificate. He then proceeded to Our Lady of Schools, Anyigba, Kogi State for his secondary education. He served as Head Boy there between 1973 and 1975. He also served as the president of the school's debate society. He enrolled in the diploma in Law program at the Ahmadu Bello University from which he graduated in 1978. He earned his LL.B degree from the same university in June 1981. Ocheja was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1982 after completing his course at the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos.,[3][4]

Professional career[edit]

Barrister Ocheja did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at the Faulty of Law at the Ahmadu Bello University in the 1982/1983 session. He joined the Chambers of B.G. Ahmed & Co in 1983 and rose to the position of Head of Litigation. He left the firm in 1986 to start up his private Law firm in 1986 in Kano State named Dangana, Musa & Co where he is designated as "Principal in Chambers". The firm changed its name to Dangana Global Legal Services in 2012. The firm has offices in Abuja (Headquarters), Lagos, and Kano states.

Political career[edit]

Ocheja interacting with the people in Idah.

2003 elections[edit]

In 2003, Ocheja sought the nomination of the People's Democratic Party to contest for the governorship seat of Kogi State against the incumbent Prince Abubakar Audu of the All Nigeria Peoples Party.[5] He contested the primaries of the PDP against Senator Ahmed Tijani Ahmed, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, AVM Isaac Alfa rtd, Senator Alex Kadiri, Engr. Emmanuel Uchola, and a number of other contestants. Alhaji Ibrahim Idris won the primaries and went on to win the general elections in April 2003.[6] After his defeat at the party primaries, Ocheja remained in the People's Democratic Party and campaigned for the victory of its candidate (Alhaji Ibrahim Idris) at the polls. Idris named Ocheja a member/secretary of the transition committee that midwifed the transfer of power from Prince Abubakar Audu to his government.

Political appointments[edit]

In 2005, President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Barrister Ocheja to serve as the Chairman of the board of directors of the Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL: A subsidiary of the NNPC). He returned to Kogi State politics in 2008 to serve as the Chairman of the state chapter of the People's Democratic Party, filling a void that had been created by the ascension of Chief John Odawn into the national ex officio of the party. He was appointed as the Chairman of the Kogi State Local Government Service Commission later in the same year.[7][8]

2011 elections[edit]

In late 2010, Ocheja declared his intention to contest elections into the National Assembly of Nigeria to serve as Senator in the 7th (2011–2015) session on the platform of the People's Democratic Party. He contested the primary elections against Ambassador Isaac Onu (then Nigerian Ambassador to Botswana), AVM Isaac Alfa (a former Chief of Air Staff 1999–2001), Attai Aidoko Usman (then Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the FCT), Barrister Kabiru Mohammed, Abdulrahman Abubakar (a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation), Hajiya Halima Alfa, and a number of others. Ocheja won the party primaries by polling 820 votes to beat Alfa and Onu who polled 543 and 344 votes respectively.[9]

Ocheja also won the general elections against his main challenger Attai Aidoko Usman who flew the flag of the All Nigeria Peoples Party. Hon. Usman had emerged as the ANPP candidate after joining the party upon losing the PDP ticket to Ocheja.[10] In the elections held on 9 April 2011, Ocheja polled 131,386 votes versus Hon. Usman's 114,786 votes.[1][11]

Senate career[edit]

Ocheja took the oath of office as Senator representing Kogi East (Igala/Bassa speaking areas of Kogi State) in the National Assembly on 6 June 2011.

Ocheja in chieftaincy robes (as the Akomu Atta Igala).

President Goodluck Jonathan (as Chairman of Authority of Heads of states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) administered the oath of office to Senator Ocheja to serve as a member of the Nigerian delegation to the ECOWAS regional parliament on 11 August 2011.

Committee appointments[edit]

In September 2011, Senate President David Mark named Senator Ocheja as the Vice-Chairman of the senate committee on the Navy. He was also named as a member of the senate committees on Defense & Army, Appropriation, Gas, Judiciary, Human Rights & Legal Matters, and Privatization.

2015 elections[edit]

Sen. Ocheja arrives at the 2015 APC presidential campaign rally in Kogi state

Ocheja resigned his membership of the People's Democratic Party in 2014 sighting his disagreement with certain power blocs within the party as well as poor governance by some political office holders elected on its platform. The resignation confirmed rumors of his displeasure with the PDP establishment that had started in 2012 when he declined an offer extended to him by Governor Idris Ichalla Wada to serve as the Chairman of the Board of the Town Planning Development Authority in Kogi state. He publicly declined requests from his supporters to contest the 2015 senatorial election, choosing instead to focus on expanding his law practice in Abuja. He formally announced his membership of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) on 7 February 2015[2] even though he was known to have joined the party long before then. At the event of his decamping, he pledged to work towards delivering victory to all the candidates seeking electoral offices on the platform of the APC in Kogi State. He was an active participant in the APC presidential campaign in the North Central region of Nigeria for the 2015 elections. He served as the Chairman of the Legal Committee of the All Progressives Congress Presidential, National Assembly, and Governorship election campaigns in Kogi state in 2015.


Ocheja was turbaned as the Akomu Atta Igala by HRM Dr. Aliyu Obaje (the paramount ruler of the Igala Kingdom) on 27 December 2009. At the ceremony, HRM Dr. Aliyu Obaje described Barrister Dagana Ocheja as a "worthy son of Igala land who had contributed immensely to the development of the area".[12] In Igala traditional circles, Senator Ocheja is saluted by proclamations of "Doga" to signify the title he bears.


  1. ^ a b "INEC Election results" (PDF). Independent national Electoral Commission. 9 April 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b John Akubo (8 February 2015). "Kogi PDP bigwigs decamp to APC". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Know your candidates". 6 April 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Samuel Ilani (6 January 2009). "When Dangana Ocheja Was Conferred Akomu Attah-Igala". Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Ralph Aluko (16 July 2002). "Guber Aspirant Assures on PDP Victory". Thisday Newspapers (Nigeria). Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Gabriel Agbonika (9 January 2003). "The Battle for Lugard House". Daily Trust Newspaper. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Ibrahim Obansa (29 December 2010). "Zoning To Decide Electoral Slots in Kogi State". National Daily Newspaper. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011. 
  8. ^ Shola Oyeyipo (23 October 2010). "Scramble for Kogi Senatorial Seats". Thisday Newspapers. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Aspirants Reject PDP Order on Re-Run in Kogi". The Nigerian Observer. 1 February 2011. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Oyewale Adebayo (2 April 2011). "Kogi: Fight to the finish". Nigerian Compass. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Isiaka Wakili (11 May 2011). "... Kogi lawmakers-elect also get certs". Daily Trust. Retrieved 5 June 2011. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Radio Nigeria (30 December 2009). "KOGI Gov calls for constitutional roles for traditional institution". Radio Nigeria Online. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 

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