LONG SERVICE: 6 lawmakers who did 20 years in NASS

Sharon EboesomiApril 26, 20247 min

These 6 former lawmakers in the National Assembly held sway and made their marks for up to two decades before they bowed out. 

LONG SERVICE: 6 lawmakers who did 20 years in NASS

These former lawmakers served in the National Assembly making laws for several years. Interestingly, some of them began their journey in the National Assembly right after the return to democracy in 1999. In most cases, these people were referred to as ‘landlords.’

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Unlike the executive arm with a maximum of eight years tenure, the tenure of lawmakers in Nigeria is statutorily limitless, hence the reason for their continuous return to the National Assembly.

Below are 6 former lawmakers who served the longest in the National Assembly. 

  • Ike Ekweremadu – (2003-2023)

Former landlords in the National Assembly 

From 2003 until 2023, Ike Ekweremadu represented Enugu West in the Senate. During this period, he presided over the National Assembly for three (3) terms as Deputy President (6th, 7th, and 8th Senate). The senator joined the Enugu State governorship race in 2023 after announcing his retirement from the Senate but was not successful in winning the ticket of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, in June 2022, Ekwermadu‘s fifth term was cut short, when he and his wife faced charges in the UK in June 2022 for plotting to arrange a 21-year-old’s travel into the country for organ harvesting. On March 23, 2023, the Old Bailey convicted him guilty. He was given a nine-year and eight-month prison sentence on May 5, 2023.

  • David Mark – (1999- 2019) 

Former landlords in the National Assembly

David Mark, known as the longest-serving Senate President who served in this position for two (2) terms (2007–2015) under the PDP, began his senatorial journey in 1999 representing the people of Benue South senatorial district.

Before embarking on his senatorial career, he was appointed Governor of Niger State from 1984 to 1986 by the military government of General Muhammadu Buhari.

Mark who served as the 12th president of the Nigerian Senate is a retired Nigerian Army Brigadier General and a former Minister of Communications, heading its two major parastatals – the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).

  • Femi Gbajabiamila – (2003- 2023) 

Former landlords in the National Assembly

Femi Gbajabiamila served as the 14th Speaker of the House of Representatives during his fifth term in the House. While serving his sixth term, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the President by President Bola Tinubu, leading to his resignation.

From 2003 up until his resignation, he represented Surulere 1 Federal Constituency in Lagos State. During his 20-year stint in the Green Chamber, he served variously as minority leader, majority leader and speaker. He is reputed to be one of the most experienced and outstanding lawmakers in the country.

  • James Manager – (2003-2023) 

The Delta South Senatorial District in Delta State had James Manager as its representative from 2003 until 2023.  After his first tenure in 2003, he was re-elected in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019, all on the platform of the PDP. While in the Senate, he was appointed to the Works Committee, Niger Delta Committee and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters Committee.

  • Philip Tanimu Aduda – ( 2003-2023)

Philip Aduda was first sworn in as a House of Representatives member in 2003, to represent AMAC/Bwara Federal Constituency in Abuja, a position he held until 2011 when he stepped up to the Red Chamber. During this time, he served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Federal Capital Territory. 

In 2011, he ran for and won the election to become the Senator representing the FCT on the platform of the PDP. Following his swearing-in, he was appointed the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power and Steel Development 

In 2015 he was re-elected for a second term in the Senate at the inauguration of the Eighth Senate, he was made the minority whip.

He was re-elected for a third term in 2019 into the Senate and served as the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Downstream Petroleum Sector.

In 2023, he ran for a fourth term in the Senate but lost to Senator Ireti Kingibe.

  •  Leonard Ogor  (2003 – 2023)

From 2003 until 2023, Leo Okuweh Ogor, as he introduced himself each time he addressed the House, represented the Isoko North/Isoko South Federal Constituency of Delta State.

In the 7th Assembly, Rep Ogor led the House as deputy majority leader, and in the 8th Assembly, he led the House as minority leader. His exploits as the leader in both majority and minority caucuses are on record, particularly in the context of intense arguments with Gbajabiamila, his opponent at the time who held the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader alternately.

He has Chaired different Adhoc Committees of the House including the Pentascope Investigative Panel, Malabu Oil Block Sale, Single Windows System, BOFIA Amendment Act Committee, and Adhoc Committee on the poor services of GSM service operators in the Country. Chairman Adhoc Committee on Rice Import Quota and Duty Payments and many others.

Sharon Eboesomi

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