Senate In Rowdy Session, refuses to Endorse EFCC Nominees

By Uche Mbah

Senate today went into a rowdy session as they considered the names that were submitted by the presidency for confirmation of their appointments into the anti graft agency. The uproar was hinged on the flagrant disregard for federal character in the nominations.

The nominees are Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Najib and Adeleke Adebayo Rafiu. The letter from the presidency has been with the senate since 2016, but it only came up today for hearing and debate in the upper legislative chamber. It was then refered to the anti corruption committee of the senate for appropriate action.

The chairman of the Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Chukwuka Utazi presented the report to the house, and debate ensued. He read out the recommendation of the committee, to wit, that the nominees are fit and should be confirmed.

No sooner did he finish than  Victor Umeh (APGA, Anambra), stood up and insisted that the appointments were lopsided, and that there is no representative of the southeast there.

According to him, the acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, is from the North-east, while the recently confirmed Secretary of the Commission, Olanipkekun Olukoyede, is from the South-west. and Two of the nominees are from the North. Finally, he insisted the nominees should be stood down. Lawmakers from the south east and south south became agitated when Enyinnaya Abaribe supported Senator Umeh, and Senators Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume wanted the nominees approved.

At this point, Senators were arguing and pointing at each other. Despite appeals by the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, the rowdiness continued. The Senate later went into a closed door session.

The Buhari administration has been accused of nepotism of the highest order, thereby jettisoning the principle of Federal Character in its appointments. It is noted that almost all service chiefs are from the North, and majority of heads of the agencies and parastatals are from the North also.

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