By Ben Agande & Shaibu Inalegwu
ABUJAâ€”The Senate, yesterday, confirmed the appointment of Mr. Samuel Orkura as the Auditor-General of the Federation after an attempt by some senators to scuttle the approval were brushed aside by the Senate President, Senator David Mark.
Orkura was nominated for appointment as the Auditor- General last year by then President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua but protests from several quarters delayed his confirmation by the Senate.
But submitting its report yesterday, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Ahmad Lawan,Â whose committee screened Orkura recommended him for appointment.
But when the Senate President called for contributions from senators, Senator Sola AkinyedeÂ raised objections, pointing out that the Civil Service Commission which recommended Orkura for appointment did not follow constitutional provision.
According to him, two senior directors from the South-West geo-political zone in the AGFâ€™s office were unjustly disqualified from applying for the job.
â€œTwo directors working in the AGF office were excluded by a provision that is unconstitutional. The provision that any person with less than two years to retirement need not apply is notfair. I have nothing against this nominee but the process that brought him lacks transparency,â€ he said.
His position was supported by Senator Isiaka Adeleke.
But, Senator Umaru Dahiru, raising a point of constitutional orderÂ said Section 86 of the Constitution was clear on who has the prerogative to appoint the AGF, adding that ”the Constitution did not make recommendation for qualification, the President can nominate anybody irrespective of whether there are directors in the place or not.â€
Section 86 of the Constitution provides that â€œ86. (1) The Auditor-General for the Federation shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Federal Civil Service Commission subject to confirmation by the Senate. (2)
The power to appoint persons to act in the office of the Auditor-General shall vest in the President.â€
Senator Ndoma Egba in his contribution pointed out that the senate must begin to trust the institutions of government charged with responsibilities to carry out their duties in the best interest of the country and not selfish narrow interests of regions
But the Senate President David Mark who expressed disappointment over the trend of debate on the confirmation hearingÂ pointed out that the quarrel should not be with the senate whose responsibility is only to confirm but withÂ the Civil Service Commission, pointing out that the argument by those opposed to the appointment of Ukura came â€˜a bit late; you should have stopped it before nowâ€™.