Virginia Etiaba is not the first female deputy governor in Nigeria


ON May 1, 2023, a Twitter user, Adetutu Balogun (@Tutsy22) claimed that Virginia Etiaba, who served as Peter Obi’s deputy during his time as governor of Anambra state, is the first woman to hold the position of a deputy governor in Nigeria.

Adetutu made the claim (archived here) while responding to Shettima’s claim that Tinubu is the first to appoint a woman as a deputy governor — the claim which has been fact-checked earlier and found to be false by The FactCheckHub.

“If it was about Peter Obi, you will #FactCheck & post 100 times in one hour! Virgy Etiba who was PO’s deputy was the first female deputy in Nigeria. Ajoke Omotosh who was Chief Judge of Lagos State in 1995, she was the first female Chief Judge in Nigeria, & in West Africa!(Sic)” 

The tweet has garnered over 1,500 retweets, more than 2,900 likes and about 300,000 views as of May 6, 2023.


Virgy Etiba is the first female deputy governor in Nigeria.

Screenshot of Adetutu Balogun’s claim on Twitter.



Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

Our checks show that a number of  women have held the position before the election of Virginia Etiaba as a deputy governor in Anambra state in 2006.

For instance, there is Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu, who was elected and served as the Deputy to former Governor of Lagos State, Michael Otedola, between January 1992 until November 1993 when the military took over.

Similarly, there is Cecilia Ekpenyong who was elected as deputy governor in Cross River State in 1992 during the tenure of Governor Clement Ebri.

Also, Lateefat Okunnu served as the deputy governor of Lagos state from 1988 to 1991.

After the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, there is also Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele who was the deputy governor to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state between 1999 to 2003. Tinubu is currently Nigeria’s President-elect.



The claim that Virginia Etiaba is the first female deputy governor in Nigeria is FALSE; findings revealed that a number of women has held the position before her emergence in 2006.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.


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