The history of electoral bodies in Nigeria dates back to the post-independence era when the Electoral Commission of Nigeria (ECN) was established. This body was responsible for conducting the federal and regional elections of 1964 and 1965 respectively.
The military coup in 1966 led to the dissolution of the body leading to the establishment of Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) in 1978. FEDECO organized and conducted the 1979 and 1983 General Elections. It was dissolved by the military junta of General Mohammadu Buhari in 31st December 1983.
In 1987, another military junta led by General Ibrahim Babangida established the National Electoral Commission (NEC) with a mandate of overseeing the transition programme put in place by the administration with the aim of returning the country to civilian democratic rule. NEC conducted the general elections into all elective offices which included the presidential, national, state and local government elections in 1993.
In December 1995 when late General Sani Abacha became Head of State, NEC was dissolved and subsequently replaced by the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON). NECON conducted the 1996 Local Government and National Assembly Elections. The sudden death of General Abacha 1998 inevitably brought about the death of NECON as is the tradition in the country.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was established by the transitional administration of Abdulsalami Abubakar the same year.