This is the biography of Mrs. Patricia Olubunmi Foluke Etteh, first female speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives. She was the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives from June until October 2007.
Personal life and education
Etteh, a Yoruba, was born on 17 August 1953. She trained as a hairdresser and beauty therapist, but she also earned a law degree from University of Abuja.
Etteh represents the Ayedaade/Isokan/Irewole constituency in Osun State She was initially elected in 1999 as an Alliance for Democracy (AD) member, but switched to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when running for re-election in 2003. She was elected to the position of speaker unanimously in June 2007, and is the only woman to have held this position in the Nigerian government.
In September 2007, she faced a committee of MPs over accusations that she had authorised the spending of 628 million Naira (about US $5 million ) on renovations of her official residence and that of her deputy, and the purchase of 12 official cars meant for the House of Representatives. Accusations of theft were chanted at her as she tried to speak in the House, and she was escorted out by security as the situation degenerated into a commotion, though she has not been officially indicted.
The PDP officially continued to back Etteh, although some members, such as Isyaku Ibrahim, criticised this stance. Author and academic Wole Soyinka was among those who called for her resignation, while former President and PDP member Olusegun Obasanjo continued to support her.
On 30 October, following weeks of pressure, Etteh resigned her position as speaker . Her deputy, Babangida Nguroje, also resigned. However at the last seating of the 6th session House of Representatives, it was agreed that “There is no record or proceedings of the House where Patricia Olubunmi Etteh was ever indicted”.