Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan GCFR, born May 9, 1936, was a Nigerian lawyer and statesman who served as the interim Head of State of Nigeria from 26 August 1993 to 17 November 1993.
Ernest Shonekan was titled Abese of Egbaland from 1981 with other chieftaincy titles.
Shonekan was born in Lagos to the family of an Abeokuta-born civil servant.
Early Life and Education
Shonekan was born into a family of six children, son of an Abeokuta-born civil servant.
Shonekan attended CMS Grammar School and Igbobi College and received a law degree from the University of London, and was called to the bar.
He later got admitted into the prestigious Harvard Business School.
Chief Ernest Shonekan joined the United Africa Company of Nigeria in 1964, at the time a subsidiary of the United Africa Company and played a prominent role in British colonisation.
Shonekan rose through the ranks in the company and was promoted assistant legal adviser.
He also became a deputy adviser and joined the board of directors at the age of 40.
In 1980, he was made chairman and managing director then went on to cultivate a wide array of international business and political connections.
On January 2, 1993, Shonekan assumed office as head of transitional council and head of government under Ibrahim Babangida.
During that time, the transitional council designed to be the final phase leading to a scheduled hand over to an elected democratic leader of the Third Nigerian Republic.
Shonekan learned of the dire condition of government finances, which he was unable to correct.
The government was hard pressed on international debt obligations and had to hold constant talks for debt rescheduling.
In August 1993, Babangida resigned from office, after the annulment of the 12 June elections. He signed a decree establishing the Interim National Government led by Shonekan who was subsequently sworn-in as head of state.
Shonekan was overthrown in palace coup by Abacha three months into his administration in November 1993.
In 1994, Shonekan founded the Nigerian Economic Summit Group an advocacy group and think-tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy.
Since then Chief Ernest Shonekan went on to feature prominently as an elder statesman.
Chief Ernest Shonekan Net Worth
Chief Ernest Shonekan was a Nigerian politician and elder statesman. His net worth wasn’t estimated.
Shonekan was married to Margaret Shonekan and they have children together.
Chief Ernest Shonekan died on Tuesday January 11, 2022 at the age of 85. He was the third oldest surviving Nigerian head of state by age after Elizabeth II and Yakubu Gowon.