Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba was born in Jos Plateau State on 25 July 1958. He is an articulate, highly distinguished and patriotic naval officer with a high sense of responsibility and commitment to duty. Vice Admiral Ezeoba is a Navigation and Direction specialist, logistician and holds a Masters degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan. He also attended the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna, BRITAINIA Royal Naval College Dartmouth UK, Armed Forces Command and Staff College Nigeria – Jaji; and the US Naval War College, New-Port, Rhode Island USA.
Vice Admiral Ezeoba was the ADC to the Military Governor of Anambra and Imo States respectively and subsequently Naval Assistant to the Chief of Naval Staff. He was also at various times an instructor at Nigerian Navy Officers’ Training Schools, Training Commander Officers’ Professional Training School NNS QUORRA, a Directing Staff at the Naval Faculty, Armed Forces Command and Staff College Nigeria – Jaji and National Defence College (NDC) Abuja and was later appointed the Director Curriculum and Programmes Development (DCPD) at the same institution. He equally held other tasking appointments in the Navy in different capacities both ashore and afloat.
Some of the numerous tasking appointments he held ashore include the Commanding Officer NNS WEY, NNS QUORRA, he was equally Command Operations Officer Eastern Naval Command and Principal Staff Officer Administration Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji – Nigeria. Others include Director of Operations Naval Headquarters (NHQ), Director of Training, Defence Headquarters and member, Armed Forces Transformation Committee. Afloat, he commanded NN warships such as NNS YOLA, NNS BRASS, NNS EKPE deployed in ECOMOG Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone and NNS ARADU. In recognition of his competence and professionalism in the discharge of these responsibilities, he was awarded Command at Sea Badge for successful sea command of various Nigerian Naval Ships including the nation’s flagship NNS ARADU.
He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in July 2008 and subsequently appointed the Chief of Training and Operations, Naval Headquarters, the appointment he held until 24 Nov 10 when he became the Deputy Commandant AFCSC – Jaji and the Chief of Defence Administration, Defence Headquarters, Abuja. Vice Admiral Ezeoba assumed command of the Nigerian Navy as the 20th Chief of the Naval Staff on 4 October 2012.
In his career spanning over 30 years, some of his recent major achievements and contributions to the development of the Nigerian Navy (NN), Security and Defence of Nigeria include facilitating the successful acquisition and hot transfer of the United States Coast Guard Ship (USCG) Hamilton Class Ship CHASE to the NN on GRATIS under the Excess Defence Article programme thus saving the Federal Government of Nigeria millions of dollars in cost in the process. He also conceptualized and facilitated the establishment of an integrated Command and Control Operations Room at Naval Headquarters, Abuja for enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness and Joint Maritime Training Centre at Ojo Lagos for the development of Special Forces Capability of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
In pursuit of professionalism, he ensured the consolidation of the Strategic Partnership between the United States Navy/African Command and NN that has greatly enhanced human capacity development, technical expertise and technological transfer for enhanced operational efficiency of the NN under the auspices of African Partnership Station Programme. During his tour of duty as Chief of Training and Operations at Naval Headquarters, the NN arrested over 200 ships/craft and barges engaged in illegal bunkering and crude oil theft thus drastically reducing the incidences of economic sabotage that led to increased government revenue generation, economic growth and National development.
Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba has held various National Assignments such as Chairman Presidential Inter-Agency Maritime Security Task Force (IAMSTF) on acts of illegalities in Nigerian waters and was a member of the Governing Board of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Other National assignments include; Chairman NN/NIMASA Committee on Combating Piracy and Environmental Pollution in Nigerian Waters and Chairman Ministerial Committee on Problems of Cargo Allocation by National Maritime Authority (NMA).
Vice Admiral Ezeoba is an international resource fellow and external examiner to the National Defence College (NDC) Abuja. He has attended and presented papers at International Seminars/Conferences and Symposium in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Singapore, London and USA. He is an associate member of many international organizations such as Royal Institute of Navigation, UK, United States Naval Institute, Certified Institute of Shipping of Nigeria and American Society for Industrial Security. Vice Admiral Ezeoba has authored many scholarly unpublished work with special focus on the strategic importance and security challenges of the Gulf of Guinea presented at seminars, conferences and symposiums both locally and internationally.
Vice Admiral Ezeoba is happily married to Mrs Vivian Ifeyinwa Ezeoba and they are blessed with children. His hobbies include football, reading, golfing and listening to jazz music.