By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, made a U-turn when it received a report from the committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of 12 screened Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs.
The report was laid by chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif (APC, Bauchi) and seconded by Senator Mohammed Hassan (PDP, Yobe South).
The presentation of the report was sequel to introduction and reading of the 12 names at plenary by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan.
The twelve nominees are Mrs Asmanu Sani Maikudi from Katsina State; Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun from Ondo State; Mahmud Isah from Kebbi State; Rufus Oloruntoyin Akeju from Lagos State and Riskuwa Shehu from Sokoto State.
Others are Kassim Gana Geidam from Yobe State; Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa from Kano State; Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji from Oyo State; Samuel Egwu from Kogi State; Mike Igini from Delta State, Mustapha Zubairu from Niger State and Ahmad Bello Mahmud from Zamfara State.
The nominees are expected to be confirmed in the coming days or weeks.
The action of the Senate, yesterday, came barely two weeks after it boasted not to consider requests for confirmation of nominees from the Presidency.
It would be recalled that the Senate had on July 4, 2017, vowed that requests from the Presidency would not be considered until the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, withdrew a statement credited to him, saying the Senate does not need to confirm nominees from the executive arm, even as the Senate asked him (Osinbajo) to apologise.
The position of the Senate not to recognize or accept letters from the Presidency followed the reading of a letter sent to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urging the upper chamber to confirm Lanre Gbajabiamila as the substantive Director-General of the National Lottery Commission (NLC).
Also recall that Senator Ahmed Yerima from Zamfara state, raised Order 14 of the Senate Standing Rules.
In his submissions, he argued that since the Acting President had already concluded that the Senate lacked the powers to confirm nominees, there was no need to acknowledge any letter from the executive on issues related to confirmation.
The Senate had accordingly resolved that it would suspend any confirmation of nominees from the executive until issues relating to the power of the Senate to confirm are resolved.
The Senators equally passed a resolution and reinforced its earlier position that all nominees rejected by the Senate should be relieved of their duties, with a particular reference to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu.