Among the ten Members of the 9th House of Representatives with the highest number of stagnated bills in three years, only four of these lawmakers will return to the 10th National Assembly following the official results released by INEC
Note: A bill is said to be stagnant when its sponsor fails to move the bill beyond the Introduction/First Reading Stage.
In highlighting the performance of 9th Assembly lawmakers on the duty of lawmaking, the National Assembly Appraisals Scorecards (Third Session) captured a category of lawmakers who had the most stagnated bills.
Therefore, following the 2023 National Assembly elections and the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), how did these lawmakers fare at the polls, given the report of their performance on the mandate of making laws? Did the effect of bandwagon votes which comes with the Presidential and National Assembly elections, affect the trajectory of votes received by these lawmakers?
Pending possible litigations and outcomes before the start of the 10th Assembly in June 2023, this is the current status of the ten lawmakers on the Stagnated Bills Scorecard.
The Returning Lawmakers
- Oluwole Busayo Oke (PDP, Obokun/Oriade; Osun)Third-term lawmaker and incumbent, Rep. Oke is Chairman of the House Public Accounts Committee (PAC). At the end of the Third Session of the 9th National Assembly, he is recorded to have sponsored 30 bills between June 2019 and May 2022, 90% (27) of which are stagnated and awaiting second reading.
- James Abiodun Faleke (APC, Ikeja; Lagos):
Third-term parliamentarian and incumbent lawmaker. Of the eleven bills sponsored by this lawmaker in three years, ten of thee bills are stuck at first reading. At the same time, one was consolidated as reported on the NASS Appraisal Scorecards for the Top 10 Reps with the most Stagnated bills.
- Waive Ejiroghene Francis (APC, Ughelli North/Ughelli South/ Udu; Delta)
The newbie lawmaker, who had 33 out of his 38 bills stuck at first reading at the end of the Third Session, will return for a second term.Rep. Waive of the All Progressive Congress (APC) polled 42,226 votes across Ugheli North/South and Udu LGAs to clinch the election. Following in a distant second was Ighoghe Oghenevwerhe of the Labour Party (LP), who garnered 20,304 votes.
Interestingly, the data gathered from OrderPaper’s Election Observation Monitoring (EOM) exercise during the NASS elections provided some insight into the reason for these votes. Voters within this constituency were reported to have been equally split between voting based on the candidate’s appeal and voting based on the bandwagon effect, which entails casting a ballot based on political party appeal, choice of Presidential Candidate or based on a random decision.
- Unyime Josiah Idem (PDP, Ukanafun /Oruk Anam; Akwa Ibom)
Another returning newbie on the list is Idem Unyime Josiah of the PDP, who polled 22,218 votes to defeat his closest rival, Freedom Ibritam of the APC, who had 10,556 votes. Similarly, data gathered from OrderPaper’s EOM exercise from this constituency showed that 63% of voters said their votes were cast based on the bandwagon effect, while 37% were based on the candidate’s appeal.
Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Communications, the Akwa Ibom lawmaker sponsored 16 bills in three years. However, only one of the 16 bills is at the Committee stage, while one has consolidated during the year three appraisals. Therefore, 87.5% (14) of his bills stagnated at first reading.
- Paschal Obi (LP, Ideato North / Ideato South; Imo)
Rep. Paschal Obi sponsored 18 bills in three years, 17 of which were stuck; awaiting second reading. Disqualified from participating in the 2022 National Assembly primaries of the All Progressive Congress (APC) over alleged anti-party activities, the lawmaker sought re-election under the platform of the Labour Party as captured in the official INEC list of candidates for the 2023 elections.
He was, however, defeated by Ugo Ugochinyere, Spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and PDP candidate at the elections. Leading with 13,026 votes, he was trailed by Hon. Pascal, who scored 5,696 votes.
From data gathered from this Constituency, while 50% voted based on the candidate’s appeal, the other half was split between the bandwagon effect or opting not to give a response.
- Obinna Chidoka (PDP, Idemili North/Idemili South; Anambra)
The three-time lawmaker will not return to the 10th House for a fourth term. This follows his defeat by Uchenna Okonkwo, a first-timer, who ran on the Labour Party (LP) platform according to the results released by INEC. The newbie is also the son of Annie Okonkwo, a Senator in the 6th National Assembly.
Rep. Chidoka sponsored 23 bills in three years. However, only one of these bills is at the Committee Stage, while the remaining 22 are stuck at first reading. Hence 95.6% of bills sponsored by the lawmaker have stagnated.
Result not yet verified
- Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum (NNPP, Takum/Donga/ Ussa; Taraba)
The incumbent Representative decamped from the PDP to seek re-election under the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP). As a two-time member of the 9th Assembly, he has sponsored 14 bills in three years. While 13 have been dumped at the first reading stage, one is awaiting a Committee report. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is however yet to declare result for the Federal Constituency as a supplementary election is to be conducted soon.
Lawmakers Who did not Contest
- Yakubu Dogara (PDP, Bogoro/Dass/ Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi)
Serving his fourth term at the National Assembly, the Speaker of the 8th Assembly did not contest in the recent NASS polls. Having sponsored ten bills in three years of the 9th Assembly, 90% stagnated at the first reading stage.
The lawmaker will be succeeded by newbie, Jafar Gambo Lekko of the APC, whom he endorsed a few days before the elections. Lekko polled 54,128 votes to defeat Kefas Magaji of the PDP, who scored 52,314.
- Francis Charles Uduyok (PDP, Ikot Abasi/Mkpat Enin/Eastern Obolo; Akwa Ibom)
Having sponsored 23 bills at the end of the Third Session of the 9th Assembly and had only four bills at the committee stage. At the same time, the remaining 19 (82.6 %) stagnated at the first reading stage.
While the two-time lawmakers did not contest in the recently concluded National Assembly elections, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Uduak Odudoh, who is also a member of the State House of Assembly, won with a total of 23,514 votes, while his rival, Ernest Emmanuel Ntuk of the APC polled 6,173 votes.
- Nnam Obi Prince Uchechuku (PDP, Ahoada West / Ogba Egbema Ndoni; Rivers)
The first-time lawmaker has had 100% of bills to his credit in the last three years at the 9th Assembly stagnated at first reading. Following the release of the INEC list of National Assembly candidates last year, he was not among those seeking re-election for a second term.
Hence, succeeding him is another first-timer, Victor Obuzor of the PDP, who led the polls for the Ahoada West/Ogba Egbema Ndoni Federal Constituency.