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Etteh Steps Finally Aside:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject: Etteh Steps Finally Aside:  Reply with quote

Nigeria speaker goes in graft row
The speaker of Nigeria's House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh, has resigned after weeks of pressure.

An inquiry found her guilty of breaking house rules in awarding contracts worth $5m to refurbish houses and buy cars.

But she had repeatedly refused to step aside and allow a temporary speaker to chair a debate into the findings.

Parliamentary business, including a debate on Nigeria's budget, has been held up for weeks as a result of the affair that has gripped the nation.


Mrs Etteh, a former beautician and ruling party member, is accused of irregularities in spending $5m of government money to buy 12 cars and renovate two official residences - her own and that of a deputy.

She had consistently denied any wrongdoing but opponents argued forcibly that she should step aside temporarily to allow someone else to chair the debate into the findings of the panel of inquiry, chaired by David Iroko.

The row became so heated that a brawl broke out in parliament earlier this month, during which one pro-Etteh MP collapsed and died.

Mrs Etteh's aides told the BBC's Abuja Bureau that the speaker had decided that she could no longer continue and that her deputy, Babangida Nguroje, has also resigned.

The lower house elected Terngu Tsegba, an opposition politician from central Benue State, as the acting speaker.

Mr Tsegba will now preside over the Iroko debate, which is expected to take up to a week.

Parliament will then have to elect a permanent replacement to Mrs Etteh.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Question- Did she resign permanently or did she step aside for the report to be considered? Two conflicting reports here need clarification!

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