Senate Reverses Self, Withdraws Confirmation of REC

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  • Confirms Kafarati as FHC chief judge

From Deji Elumoye in Abuja

Senate Thursday withdrew its confirmation of a Resident Electoral Commissioner, Elder Monday Udo Tom, representing Akwa Ibom State.

Tom along with three other RECs were on Wednesday confirmed by the upper chamber of the National Assembly after the presentation of the Senate Committee report on screening of REC nominees by the Chairman, Senator Suleiman Nasif ( Bauchi North).

Senator Bassey Akpan (Akwa Obon North East) had Thursday raised a Point of Order to complain about the clearance of Tom.

He specifically mentioned a voluminous petition dated February 5, 2018 that was written against Tom’s nomination and submitted to the INEC Committee.

Senator Akpabio therefore said Tom’s confirmation as a REC should be withdrawn “because of the weighty nature of the petition”.

At this point, Senate President Bukola Saraki having sounded out the senators on the issue said the confirmation of Tom as REC had been withdrawn.

He thereafter directed the Committee on INEC to take another look at the petition and report back to the Senate.

Also on Thursday, Senate confirmed the appointment of Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati as Chief Judge of Federal High Court.

This was sequel to the presentation of the Report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters by its Chairman, Senator David Umaru (Niger East).

The Committee of the Whole thereafter considered the report of the committee and confirmed the appointment of Justice Abdu-Kafarati as the Chief Judge of Federal High Court in accordance with the provision of Section 250(1) of the 1999 constitution(As Amended).

Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, while reading out the confirmation of the new FHC CJ, enjoined him to discharge his duties without fear or favour.

The Senate had earlier held a closed-door session, the second within two days to deliberate on issues bothering the National Assembly.