The Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye as Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Owasanoye, a professor of law and indigene of Ondo, takes over from Ekpo Nta, whose five-year tenure expired in September, 2017.
With his confirmation, Owasanoye becomes the fourth substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency, succeeding Justice Mustapha Akanbi, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola and Nta.
Confirmed along with the chairman are eight members of the ICPC board, including Grace Chinda from Delta, Okolo Titus (Enugu), Obiora Igwedebia (Anambra) and Olubukola Balgun (Lagos).
Others are Justice Adamu Bello (Katsina), Hannatu Muhammed (Jigawa), Abdullahi Saidu (Niger) and Yahaya Dauda (Nasarawa).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo appointed the board members in August, 2017.
Thursday’s confirmation came after the Chairman of the Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Sen. Chukwuma Utazi, presented the committee’s report on their screening.
Presenting the report, Utazi said the nominees were found to possess the integrity, professional competence and experience to discharge their duties in the commission.
NAN reports that before Utazi presented the report, the Majority Leader, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, observed that there was lopsidedness in the current composition of the 12-member ICPC board.
Lawan said the North East had no representation yet when it ought to have two members, while the South South so far had only one member as against two.
He reminded his colleagues of the suspension of the confirmation of four EFCC board nominees over a similar issue on Dec. 11.
While the North East and South West had two nominees each in the six-member board of the EFCC, the South East and South South were excluded.
This sparked a protest from senators from the affected zones, prompting the Senate to stand down their confirmation.
Lawan said while the imbalance in the EFCC board would be corrected, the executive had also assured the Senate leadership of doing same in the ICPC board.
“The executive arm of government has promised us that they will send the two nominees for the North East, and the remaining one from the South South to complete the full nomination.
“It is important that we approve the nine nominees here before us so that the ICPC would have a balanced governing board to make it more effective and efficient,” he said.(NAN)