House leadership: Onuoha not eligible to contest, says CSO


*Says she’s 2-yr-old in NASS without induction

By Olugbenga Salami

Civil Society Central Coordinating Council, CSCCC, has said that a member of the G-6, Hon. Miriam Odinaka Onuoha, representing Okigwe North/Onuimo/Isiala Mbano Federal Constituency of Imo State in the House of Representatives, is not eligible to contest for the Speaker or Deputy Speaker in the incoming 10th National Assembly.

The CSCCC, according to its Legislative Watch Unit, explained that Onuoha, who joined the 9th House about three years ago, just underwent her first induction as a lawmaker-elect few weeks ago alongside other first-timers.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Abuja, the group’s lawyer, Barrister Anderson Achilike, noted that Onuoha contesting for the presiding office of the House was against the extant House Rules, which clearly states that members without requisite legislative experience are not allowed to contest for presiding office positions.

Achilike, pointed out that Onuoha just had her first induction with the 10th Assembly members-elect, as she was not inducted in 2019 due to issues surrounding her election.

He claimed that the female contestant does not have the support of Imo State or South-East lawmakers, who will be voting for the All Progressives Congress, APC consensus candidate for the Deputy Speaker position, Hon. Benjamin Kalu.

He, therefore, urged Onuoha to, in spirit of brotherhood and respect for party supremacy, jettison her ambition and support her brother, Ben Kalu.

“Miriam Odinaka Onuoha
won re-election into the Federal House of Representatives in 2020. Obinna Onwubuariri of the PDP was declared winner for the 2019 election, but the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Owerri in September 2019, sacked Onwubuariri, and ordered a fresh election for January 2020. She won the Tribunal-ordered election

“She has barely spent almost three years in the House of Representatives and she’s aspiring for a principal officer position which is against the House Rules. She has not completed a full term and can’t run for any principal position in the House.

“In terms of experience and competence, she can’t be compared to Hon. Benjamin Kalu, as the APC consensus Candidate has the perfect qualification and experience to preside over the affairs of the House as a deputy Speaker with legal background.

“She shouldn’t allow the other members of the aggrieved G-7 aspirants to deceive her. Rather she should in the spirit of brotherhood support her Igbo brother, Benjamin Kalu. The Igbos need to be united now more than ever,” the group stressed.