Senate C’ttee Submits Report on Screening of 12 INEC REC Nominees

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wednesday submitted its report on the screening of 12 nominees for appointment as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in the national electoral body.

The Senator Suleiman Nazif-led committee laid the report at plenary as scheduled on the order paper which outlines the proceedings for each legislative day.

The report is therefore yet to be considered.
It is however yet to be seen if the Senate would abide by its July 4, 2017, resolution to suspend all issues relating to confirmation of executive nominees.

The decision was reached pending a clarification in the powers of confirmation by the Senate, which was allegedly called to question by acting President Yemi Osinbajo, following the continued retention of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, despite his rejection twice, by the Senate.

Magu’s nomination as the substantive head of the anti-graft commission was rejected twice by the Senate based on a report of the Department of State Services (DSS) which indicted him for criminal and unprofessional conduct.

The resolution had read: “That the Senate suspends all issues relating to confirmation of nominees from the executive until all issues of confirmation as contained in the constitution and laws of the federation are adhered to.”
The request for the confirmation of the RECs has however been with the Senate since February 2017. The process suffered a setback when on March 29, 2017, the lawmakers decided to suspend the commencement of the process for a period of two weeks to protest the non removal of Magu.

The Senate finally commenced the screening of the RECs on May 3, 2017, and confirmed 15 of them on June 1, 2017, leaving 12.

The 12 nominees contained in yesterday’s report are Dr. Asmau Sani Maikudi (Katsina); Sam Olugbadebo Olumeku (Ondo); Dr. Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi);Ambassador Rufus Oloruntoyin Akeju (Lagos); Prof. Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto), Mr. Kasim Gama Geidam (Yobe); Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano); Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji (Oyo); Prof. Samuel Egwu (Kogi), Mr. Mike Igini (Delta), Prof. Mustapha Zubairu (Niger) and Ahmad Bello Mahmud (Zamfara).
Five of the nominees are for re-appointments while seven are new appointments.