Female lawmakers in the 10th Assembly

ON Tuesday, June 13, 469 lawmakers were sworn into Nigeria’s National Assembly. Out of 109 senators, three were female.

Sixeen women were also sworn into the House of Representatives out of 360 lawmakers.

The states that produced female representatives include Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Imo, Ogun, Plateau, Rivers, Lagos and Yobe.

This report profiles the lawmakers.

Ireti Heebah Kingibe (Senator, FCT, LP)

Kingibe won the senatorial elections for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and became the second female senator to represent the nation’s capital after Khairat Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe.

She studied at the University of Minnesota, United States, where she acquired her Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Civil Engineering in the 1970s.

She first contested the FCT senatorial elections in 2003 under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). She joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and, later, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.

Although she intended to retire from politics, Kingibe joined the Labour Party in 2022 and contested the 2023 general elections, where she displaced the multi-term incumbent senator, Philip Aduda.

She was married to a former Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF) Babagana Kingibe.

Ipalibo Banigo (Senator, Rivers West, PDP)

Banigo, Senator representing Rivers West,  is a medical doctor who studied at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo state, where she got her MBBS degree (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery).

She obtained a Masters (M.Sc.) degree from Harvard University School of Public Health.

Since then, she has served in various capacities within the state, including occupying the position of Director of Public Health Services, Acting Commissioner, Director-General and Permanent Secretary.

In 1995, Banigo was appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in Rivers.

She became the Head of Service in 1998 and, in 2014, was selected as running mate to former Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike.

Following their victory in the 2015 elections, Banigo became the first female Deputy-Governor in Rivers state.

Idiat Oluranti Adebule (Senator, Lagos West, APC)

Adebule  holds a Doctorate degree from Lagos State University in Curriculum Studies

She is an educationist who worked as a lecturer at the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education in Lagos and Lagos State University.

She also served as a Commissioner in the Lagos State Post Primary Teaching Service Commission (PP-TESCOM), now Teachers’ Establishment and Pensions Office.

Adebule was SSG under the Babatunde Fashola-led administration and became a one-term Deputy-Governor of Lagos State between 2015 and 2019.

During her time as Deputy-Governor, she superintended over the State’s education affairs as the Coordinating Commissioner of the Ministry of Education.

Lilian Obiageli Orogbu (Anambra Reps Member: Awka North/Awka South, LP)

Orogbu is an academic and a professor of Business Administration at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka.

She has a Doctorate degree in Business Administration and Management from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Orogbu had been listed as the Deputy-Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) along with her principal, Chukwuma Umeoji, in the 2022 elections in Anambra state.

However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) replaced their names with Chukwuma Soludo and his running mate Onyekachukwu Ibezim, who emerged victorious at the 2022 polls. She contested and won Awka North/Awka South senatorial zone in 2023 under the LP ticket.

Maureen Chinwe Gwacham (Anambra Reps Member: Oyi/Ayamelum, APGA)

Gwacham is a businesswoman who held the position of Managing Director at Best Western Meloch Hotel, Awka, Anambra, prior to her election into the House of Representatives.

Her election into the House is being contested at the Election Petition Tribunal by other candidates, including Uchenna Okafor of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Vincent Ofumelu, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Obiora Chira of the Labour Party (LP).

Marie Enenimiete Ebikake (Bayelsa Reps Member: Brass-Nembe, PDP)

Ebikake was a teacher before she ventured into politics.

Between 2012 and 2015, she served as Commissioner for Transportation for Bayelsa state but was fired over allegations that she was part of a plot against the re-election of the then governor Seriake Dickson.

Ebikake had contested for the Brass-Nembe seat in 2019 but lost to Isreal Sunny-Goli. She challenged the results at the Election Petition Tribunal but lost the case for lack of adequate evidence.

She, however, defeated Sunny-Goli at the 2023 polls.

Regina Akume (Benue Reps Member: Gboko/Tarka, APC)

Regina Akume was born in 1955. She is the wife of George Akume, who was Benue state governor between 1999 and 2007 and is now the Secretary General of the Federation (SGF).

Blessing Onuh (Benue Reps Member: Otukpo/Ohimini, APC)

Onuh was appointed as Secretary for the Social Welfare Secretariat in the FCT in 2010 before her election into the House of Representatives.

Under the PDP, she had contested against her uncle Johnson Ahubi, also a member of the same party, for the Otukpo/Ohimini ticket in 2018. She lost the ticket to her uncle and defected to APGA, under which she won the elections into the House.

She defected again to the APC and won her re-election bid.

Onuh is the daughter of Nigeria’s former Senate President David Mark.

Zainab Gimba (Borno Reps Member: Bama/Ngala/Kala-Balge, APC)

Gimba has a Doctorate degree in Public Administration and Policy Analysis from the University of Abuja, Nigeria and worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Maiduguri, Borno state.

Between 2011-2014, Gimba was the Commissioner Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment in Borno. She also served as the Commissioner of the State Universal Basic Education Board between 2014 and 2015. She also served as a Commissioner under the Ministry of Water Resources in Borno State from 2015 to 2018.

She was also elected Vice-President of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarian (CWP), Africa region.

Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu (Delta Reps Member: Ethiope East/Ethiope West, PDP)

Ibori-Suenu is a 42-year-old politician who studied Business Studies and Information Systems in the United Kingdom.

She defeated the incumbent Reps member, Ben Igbakpa, to clinch the PDP ticket for the National Assembly in 2022.

She is also the daughter of former governor of Delta state James Ibori, who was convicted by a court in London for fraud in 2012.

Mariam Onuoha (Imo Reps Member: Isiala Mbano/Okigwe/Onuimo, APC)

Onuoha hails from Umunachi Osu-Ama in the Isiala-Mbano Local Government Area of Imo state.

She got a B.Sc. in Estate Management from the University of Lagos and an M.Sc. in Environmental Planning and Protection from the University of Abuja.

Onuoha served as a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa state on International Development Cooperation before her election into the House of Representatives.

Onuoha, a returning legislator, won the 2019 elections for the House of Representatives after the election petition tribunal sacked Obinna Onwubuariri, who was earlier declared winner.

She is also the only female lawmaker who indicated interest in the position of Speakership of the House.

Kafilat Ogbara (Lagos Reps Member: Kosofe, APC)

Born in Aiyepe Ogun State, Ogbara studied at the University of Lagos, where she got a B.Sc. in English Language and Literature.

She also acquired her M.Sc. degree in International Law and Diplomacy and another in Public Administration, both from the University of Lagos.

Ogabara is the Publisher of Today’s Prime newspaper and the former Managing Director/ CEO of National Mirror Newspapers.

She has served in several capacities, including the Special Assistant on Trade and Investment and Technical Aid Corps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja and was a Member, Board of Director on several Federal Parastatals such as Nigeria Television Authority Abuja.

She also worked at the Nigeria Television Authority Abuja, National Centre for Women Development Abuja, and National Horticultural Research Institute.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu appointed Ogbara as member of the Audit Service Commission in 2020.

Ogbara was a gubernatorial aspirant in Ogun state in 2011.

Oriyomi Onanuga (Ogun Reps Member:  Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North, APC)

Onanuga was born on December 2, 1965, and is an entrepreneur.

She is a returning legislator who was the Chairman of the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development in the 9th Assembly.

Beni Butmak Lar Plateau Reps Member: Langtang North/ Langtang South, PDP)

Lar was born on August 12, 1967, and is the oldest daughter of former governor of Plateau state Solomon Lar.

She is a lawyer who was re-elected into the House for a fifth term in 2023, as she first became a legislator in 2007.

She served as Chairperson of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Human Rights in the 9th Assembly, and is an advocate for women’s rights. She has also headed several committees during her time in the House, including the Science and Technology Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.

Boma Goodhead (Rivers Reps Member: Akuku-Toru/Asari-Toru, PDP)

Goodhead was born on 24 November 1970. She hails from Buguma in Asari-Toru local government area of Rivers. She is a sister to Asari Dokubo, a major political figure of the Ijaw ethnic group in the state.

She challenged masked State Security Service (SSS) officers who blocked the entrance to the National Assembly Complex in 2018, preventing lawmakers, staff, journalists and the public from entering the complex.

Khadija Bukar Abba-Ibrahim (Yobe Reps Member: Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/Tarmuwa, APC)

Abba-Ibrahim was born on January 6, 1967.

She began her secondary school education at Queen’s College, Lagos. In 1980, she proceeded to Headington School, Oxford, where she completed her secondary school education in 1983.

She is also a returning legislator, and before her election into the 10th National Assembly, she was the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Abba-Ibrahim defeated her stepson to win the APC ticket.

She is the wife of former Yobe state governor Bukar Abba-Ibrahim.

Fatima Talba (Yobe Reps Member: Nangere/Potiskum, APC)

Talba was born in 1959.

She is a returning legislator who, under the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), contested the senatorial elections against her brother, Adamu Garba Talba in 2007 and lost.

She challenged brother’s victory and again lost after the election petition tribunal declared her brother winner.

She won the election into the House of Reps in 2019 and won her re-election bid in 2023 under the APC.

Chinwe Clara Nnabuife (Anambra Reps Member: Orumba North/Orumba South, YPP)

Nnabuife was born in Orumba, Anambra state.

She got her Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication from Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra state, in 1991, and worked briefly with the Abuja Municipal Area Council(AMAC), FCT.

She is a Real Estate developer who began her career in 2006.

Nnnabuife contested the 2019 National Assembly elections under the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and lost, though she polled the second-highest votes for the position.

Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (Oyo Reps Member: Oluyole, APC)

Akande-Sadipe worked as the Special Adviser to the Oyo state Governor on Projects in 2016.

Akande-Sadipe was elected into the House of Representatives in 2019. However, her re-election bid on February 25 was threatened after the INEC declared the election in some polling units within her constituency inconclusive due to the malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).



    Supplementary elections were held in the affected polling units, and Akande-Sadipe emerged the winner.

    She declared her ambition to run for Deputy-Speaker in the 20th Assembly, but lost the bid.


    This report was updated to reflect Tolulope Akande-Sadipe who was not captured initially. 

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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