- Senate suspends confirmation of Buhari’s 27 RECs nominees;
- Senate calls on president to recognized acting-EFCC chairman rejection;
- Lawmakers agree to review nominees upon Buhari’s cooperation;
Nigerian Congress suspends RECs confirmation over EFCC acting-chairman, Magu
The Nigerian Congress suspends the confirmation of 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, forwarded to it by the Presidency for two weeks.
The decline to give plenary over the confirmation of the nominees by the senate was due to what the congressmen considered the President’s disregard for the Upper Chambers’ reached decision.
While expressing their grievances the senators specifically attuned to the President’s indecision over her rejection of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, which the Congress refused to confirm as substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency due to allegations levelled against it the Department of State Service, DSS.
The senators warned that such actions of the President was setting wrong precedence and threatening to the country’s democracy.
In his reaction, Sen. Peter Nwaboshi (PDP-Delta) said recent comments by Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, on the senate’s power to confirm nominees of the president was totally unnecessary and disrespect of a legitimately constituted institution of the country.
“Prof Sagay said the senate merely confirms. This is unexpected of a professor of law, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria about such a big body.
“You can imagine the type of advice this kind of person is giving to the President. We can’t destroy democracy because anybody thinks only their believe should subsist.
“When they denigrate or disrespect an institution of this calibre it is worrisome.’’
Senator Nwaboshi therefore moved for the suspension of the consideration of the request of the President’s nominees for confirmation as Resident Electoral Commissioners.
He pointed out that the suspension should last pending when the Senate is duly considered as a legitimately recognized arm of the government and its powers, decisions fully given heed and credence.
Speaking also, Sen. Matthew Uhroghide (PDP-Edo) said the laws establishing the agencies of government showed clearly that heads of the agencies and some officers needed to be confirmed by the Upper Chambers.
According to Uhroghide, it is disturbing that an arm of the government such as the Senate is disregarded because it is the statutory role of the legislature to screen and confirm nominees.
“If by chance names are not confirm, President is at liberty to re-nominate but the National Assembly has to be properly briefed.
Recently we took a decision on some nominees of the President but we don’t know what happened.
“Some of these people cannot be acting. Unfortunately Mr Ibrahim Magu is still acting as EFCC Chairman.
“If the President knew he was not going to honour our stand he should not have sent his name.
He supported the move that the suspension of the president’s request as a warning that the Upper Chambers was a serious arm of the government that should not be sidestepped.
Also, the Deputy Chief Whip, Francis Alimikhena, said Mr Ibrahim Magu, who ought not to be working in acting capacity after his rejection by the Senate, is currently occupying that position in the anti-graft agency.
He further said“ Magu is terrorizing us because we disqualified him. This request should be stood down to send a strong message to the executive that the institution cannot be ridiculed.’’
But the APC-Kebbi lawmaker, Sen. Adamu Aliero pleaded with congressmen to consider the request in view of their importance to the 2019 general elections.
He said, “the submission of the REC list is important if not INEC will not be ready for the election.
“I ask exceptionally for us to consider the screening and if there is any observation it should be done at the screening stage.”
More so, the Deputy Leader, Bala Na’Allah pleaded with the Senate to take into consideration the president’s list for approval.
He noted that the Senate should show some level of maturity rather than refuse its duty due to the actions of the executive.
In his reactions the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, told the Senate that it was not responsible for the delay in the appointment of the commissioners, as the positions of the 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners had been vacant for up to one year.
“If there is any delay it is not from here. The executive knows the positions were vacant, so it is not our fault.”
“Under the Constitution, if the President is travelling he can write to us and his Vice would act in his absence.”
“Also if Chief Justice of Nigeria is unable to perform his duties, the President can appoint the person next in line.”
“Outside that, no position in our law has that privilege. I stand to be corrected. Those that drafted the Constitution are not stupid, so we must be seen to be defending our constitution.”
Still Ekweremadu enjoined the Senate to take a listen to the demands of the some congressmen and move for the suspension pending when the senate reached the President on the concerned issue.
“I appeal that we leave it for one week or two for the President of the Senate to convey our grievances to President Buhari.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki pleaded with the senators to only suspend the consideration for a few weeks, rather than refusing to consider it.
Saraki therefore urged lawmakers to agree to the suspension of the 27 nominees for Regional Electoral Commission office pending the resolution of the issues raised by the senate.
“This matter needs to be resolved for us to go forward. If I put a question is obvious we all want the list to be stood down but can we stand it down for a week?
“Since today is Tuesday, we can leave it till next week Tuesday. I’m appealing to you.
Earlier, it is public knowledge that President Muhammadu forwarded the names of 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) to the Senate for the confirmation by the Upper Chambers.
On receipt of the 27 REC nominees on March 23, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki read the letter date February 27.
The letter was signed on behalf of President Buhari by then-acting President, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The names of the nominees, which were listed on Tuesday’s Oder Paper are: Prof. Godswill Obioma (Abia), Ibrahim Abdullahi (Adamawa), Alhaji Ahmad Makama (Bauchi), James Apam (Benue), Barr. Mike Igini (Delta), Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji ( Ebonyi), Dr. Illoh Joseph Chuks (Enugu), Hussaini Halilu Pai (FCT), Sadiq Abubakar Musa (Kaduna), Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano), Dr. Asmau Sani Maikudi (Katsina).
Others were: Dr. Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi), Prof. Samuel Egwu (Kogi), Amb. Rufus Akeju (Lagos), Prof. Mustapha Zubairu (Niger), Agboke Mutiu Olaleke (Ogun), Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun (Ondo), AbdulGaniyu Olayinka Taju (Oyo), Prof. Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto).
Also listed were: Mr. Kasim Gana Geidam (Yobe), Ahmad Bello Mahmud (Zamfara), Dr. Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda (Plateau), Umar Ibrahim (Taraba), Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu (Anambra), Mr. Emeka Ononamadu Joseph (Imo), Obo. O. Effanga (Cross River) and Dr. Briyai O. Frankland (Baylesa)
Credits: Nan, stingged.com