OrderPaperToday – The first year of the 9th National Assembly presents an opportunity to identify performers and spectators in parliament. Luke Akpan Onofiok has proven over the period to be a top performer in spite of being a first time member of the House of Representatives.
Who is Luke Onofiok?
Youthful but mature, dynamic and high-achieving are words that have been used to describe him. Rt. Hon. Onofiok Akpan Luke is the Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Judiciary, having been elected to the green chamber in 2019 to represent the people of Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State.
It has been a life of public service for Luke since his days in school having served as president of the student union before becoming a legislative aide at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in 2003. By 2007, he was moved to the executive arm of government as personal assistant on protocol matters to the governor of the state. In 2008 he was elected as the pioneer speaker of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, a position that further moulded his leadership skills.
Luke was subsequently elected into the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to represent Nsit Ubium State Constituency in 2011; got re-elected in 2015 and subsequently chosen by his colleagues as Speaker. His leadership of the state assembly is credited to have passed 53 bills into law and introduced several pro-people innovations, including a stipend-based legislative internship programme and open budget practices. Little wonder that the assembly under his leadership enjoyed a very cordial relationship with the civil societies and professional bodies in the state.
Luke has so far distinguished himself among 360 members in the first year of the 9th House of Representatives, featuring among the top 10 newbies with 14 bills sponsored within the period. He has also stood out in the performance of oversight functions and maintained a satisfactory observance of constituency relations and interfaces. For instance, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, he provided palliatives and non-pharmaceutical medical supplies to his constituents. Prior to that, he had also undertaken a successful medical outreach programme to the delight of his people for whom he continues to run an open-door policy of quality representation.
Onofiok Luke was born on March 16, 1978 and hails from Ikot Etobo in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Uyo and a Master’s degree in same discipline from the University of Calabar. He is a fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) and member of the Nigeria’s body of benchers. A firm believer of the Christian faith, Onofiok is happily married to Dr. Uduak Luke and both are blessed with four children.
1st Year key milestones…
Below is a summary of the highpoints and achievements of Hon. Onofiok in the House:
- Inaugurated as Member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom /Nsit Ubium federal constituency on the 11th day of June, 2019 in the 9th National Assembly
- Actively involved in the politics that saw the emergence of the Femi Gbajabiamila leadership of the House. He in fact, seconded the nomination of Rt. Hon Ahmed Idris Wase for the election of the deputy speaker position
- Appointed into the 12-member ad-hoc Media committee of the House prior to the constitution of standing committees
- Appointed Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary
- Member of several committees, including Works, National Security and Intelligence, Tertiary Education, Constitutional amendment, Constituency Outreach, and Youth Development.
- Appointed into the 13-member intervention committee on the Edo State House of Assembly crisis
- Member, ad-hoc committee investigating the abscondment of five (5) soldiers with a huge sum of money
- Moved a motion of urgent public importance on the kidnap of Hon. Justice Chioma Nwosu and the need for increased security and protection around judicial officers across Nigeria
- Moved motion for an urgent need for the federal government to support technology entrepreneurs initiative
- Moved a motion of urgent public importance for the federal government to appoint more Supreme Court justices to expedite effective justice delivery in the country
- Moved several other motions and contributed actively in debates that not only impact his constituency, Akwa Ibom State and the South-south zone but on keys issues of national interest. Examples include the need for the Federal Government to give priority to the licensing of the Ibom Deep Sea Ports and industrial city in Akwa Ibom State as part of measures to decongest the Apapa gridlock; the need for the Federal Government to develop rail lines across the Northern Economic corridor that cuts across Lagos to Kaduna to Katsina and the Eastern Economic corridor development of the coastal rail system from Calabar to Oron to Eket to Ikot Abasi to Port Harcourt to Warri to Benin and to Lagos just to decentralize the rail system; the need for the federal Government to sign the African Free Trade Continental Agreement (AfCTA) in order to tap from the gains of a continent-wide free market; rising insecurity situation in the country; and employment racketeering into the Federal Civil Service. Others are need for thorough investigations and prosecution into the circumstances leading to the arbitral award and interest yielding damages of $9.1billion against the Federal Government of Nigeria in favor of P&ID; condemned the xenophobic attack on Nigerians in South Africa;
Sponsored a total of 14 Bills including: for an Act to establish the National Institute of Electoral Studies; and another to amend the legislative house (powers and privileges) Act; courts sanctity (sanctity) (preservation); Sheriffs and civil process act (amendment); among others
- Guest Speaker at several fora including the 32nd Annual convention of Akwa Ibom State Association of Nigeria (AKISAN) in Houston, Texas, U.S.A; and the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS)
- Engaged with the management of Exxon Mobil on the abandoned Jetty in Ibeno, return of the logistics base of the company to Q.I.T, and an aggressive human capacity development programmes for his constituents
- Raised concern over the state of the Calabar/Itu road and other deplorable state of federal roads during the Budget defence
- Championed calls for the establishment of a Division of the Appeal Court in Akwa Ibom State
- Appointed, member of Body of Benchers
- Flagged off a 4-day medical outreach in Nsit Ubium Local Government area in collaboration with predecessor in office
- Provision and supply of Laptops to youths of Etinan/Nsit Ibom/ Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency for educational training and enterprise development
Poised to deliver more…
Having recorded such admirable legislative activism and constituency representation thus far, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke is poised to do even more. According to a document from his office, his legislative agenda forward “anchors on a higher zest to promote matters of interest to Akwa Ibom state and Nigeria, including plans on presenting motions and bills to address the concerns of the people as well as proffer solutions for a better economic climate and security for our people.”
To achieve these, the document says the plan is to “coalesce networks across ethnic and party lines to be able to draw capital and special intervention on education projects to Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency.
“In 2021 and 2022, the representation agenda will focus on drawing capital and special intervention on healthcare and skills acquisition projects respectively. The task ahead of giving this federal constituency an effective voice is possible but the people have to close ranks and engage with each other constructively on how to solve the affairs of the federal constituency together to build a more educated, healthy and prosperous constituency.”
Click here to download a compendium of the 1st year milestones of Hon. Luke Onofiok