By Emmanuel Ovuapkorie
ABUJA— There was a mild drama during the confirmation of Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the Senate, yesterday, as the senator representing Zamfara Central, Kabiru Marafa, accused his colleague, Sulieman Nazif, of compromise.
Nazif is the Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC which, yesterday, recommended the rejection of one of the four RECs seeking confirmation by the Senate, Ahmed Bello Mahmud.
Trouble started after Senator Nazif told the Senate that Mahmud was rejected by his committee, based on a petition received by the committee.
Apparently incensed by Nazif’s statement, Senator Marafa protested the rejection of Mahmud, alleging that the petition was written by Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara State without an affidavit required by their rules.
Marafa alleged that the chairman was compromised, arguing that he had evidence to back his claim.
Marafa said: “There was a petition by the state governor. The governor said he (Mahmud) was not from Zamfara State, but from Sokoto State.
“But the report of this committee stated that he went to primary and secondary school in Zamfara. This is hypocrisy at its best. Our Head of Service is from Sokoto State. Yari should sack those people and then write a petition. Senator Nazif is compromised, I have evidence.”
But Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, citing a rule, asked Marafa to apologise to Nazif but he refused.
Consequently, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, asked him to apologise and threatened to rule him out of order.
But Marafa still protested, saying: “I will withdraw my statement but I will not apologise. I stand by what I said. Where is the affidavit in line with order 127?’’
When Saraki put Mahmud’s name to question whether he should be approved or rejected, the “ayes” had it.
Thereafter, Marafa apologised to Nazif and other senators for his outburst.
The other RECS confirmed yesterday by the Senate include Monday Udo Tom, Attahiru Garba Madami and Festus Okoye.