Parliament Spotlight: Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru | Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly 

In continuation of our Governorship series, our Parliament Spotlight this week is on the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly seeking to become the Chief Executive at the  State Government House
adminDecember 14, 20226 min

In continuation of our Governorship series, our Parliament Spotlight this week is on the Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly seeking to become the Chief Executive at the State Government House

 

Nwifuru

From the South-South to the North Central, our Parliament Spotlight moves to the South East this week. In this episode, the radar is on a three-term State lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State.

Forty-seven-year-old Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru is a two-time Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly. and despite several controversies, he beat all odds to become his party’s flagbearer in next year’s gubernatorial election.

There’s more to know about the lawmaker:

READ ALSO: Parliament Spotlight: Olubunmi Adelugba | Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly

 

LEGISLATIVE PROFILE

  • Member representing Izzi West Constituency  (2011 – 2015)
    People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
  • Member representing Izzi West Constituency  (2015 – 2019)
    People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
  • Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly  (2015 – 2019)
    5th Ebonyi State Assembly
  • Member representing Izzi West Constituency  (2019 – date)
    All Progressives Congress (APC)
  • Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly  (2019 – date)
    6th Ebonyi State AssemblyMAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

     

  • The 5th Assembly, led by Nwifuru, passed 49 bills; the highest in the history of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly.
  • The Assembly also passed 285 resolutions.
  • The 49 bills were all assented to, by the governor.
  • Under Nwifuru’s leadership of the 5th Assembly, the obsolete legislative complex was rehabilitated to become a modern legislative complex.

MAJOR CONTROVERSIES 

  • In February 2022, the Nwifuru-led Assembly removed the Deputy Speaker under controversial circumstances and declared his seat as well as that of two members vacant; having refused to defect with Governor Umahi from PDP to APC.
  • Nwifuru was among the 16 lawmakers sacked on March 8 2022, by a Federal High Court following their defection from the PDP alongside Governor David Umahi to the APC  in 2020.
  • The lawmakers appealed the judgement and currently await the Appeal Court’s ruling on the matter.
  • In May 2022, a Federal High Court declared the controversial Ebonyi Cybercrimes Law (2021) passed by the Assembly as unconstitutional, null and void.
  • The law passed under Nwifure’s leadership was enacted without any proof of going through a public hearing and was said to have been quickly and secretly assented to by the state Governor.
  • The Court held that the Assembly lacked constitutional powers to make such laws when the National Assembly had enacted the Cybercrimes Act (2015) applicable in all the federation states.|

    READ ALSO: Parliament Spotlight: Titus Tyoapine Uba | Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly

 

POLITICAL PROFILE

  • State House of Assembly Aspirant (2007)
    People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
  •  Ex-Officio, State Executive Committee (2007)
    People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
  • Governorship Candidate (2022)
    All Progressives Congress (APC) 

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS 

  •  Supporters praise him for demonstrating political dexterity and leadership ingenuity through effective and efficient legislation. 
  • He is also credited as worthy of the governorship ticket based on his understanding of the legislature’s role in promoting development and good governance. 
  • In 2022, Nwifuru defeated the former lawmaker representing Ebonyi Central Senatorial District, Julius Ucha, amongst others, to emerge as the APC gubernatorial candidate in the State.

MAJOR CONTROVERSIES 

  • His endorsement by the incumbent governor as the preferred successor of Governor Dave Umahi was greeted by opposition from APC stakeholders in Ebonyi, Abakaliki and Izzi Local Government Areas of the State.
  • The choice of Nwifuru; an indigene of the Izzi clan, as the APC flagbearer was said to have scuttled the chance of the Ezza clan to produce the next governor; leading to various criticisms against his nomination.
  • The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora described his endorsements by ‘faceless groups and some apolitical actors such as traditional rulers’ as a product of ‘inducement’ by the Umahi administration in a bid to foist his ‘selfish agenda’ on the state.

 

      READ ALSO: Parliament Spotlight: Sheriff Oborevwori | Speaker, Delta House of Assembly

 

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