The Nigerian Senate has suspended the confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari EFCC appointees on the ground that the appointment was lopsided.
The nominees whose names were submitted to the Senate for confirmation are Ndasule Moses (North-Central), Lawan Mamman (North-East), Galadanci Imam Najip (North-West) and Adeleke Adebayo Rafiu (South-West).
On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes had presented to the Plenary its finding on the nominees, but the legislators noted that South-East and South-South were not represented in the Commission.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi presented the report of the committee while Senator Barnabas Gemade seconded the motion asking the Senate to consider the report. Utazi said that the committee recommended their confirmation on the basis of their qualification, experience and suitability for the job.
He however said the committee noted that the nominations did not reflect the Federal Character Principle as the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones were excluded.
He stated, “The committee observed that three out of the four nominees were from the North-Central, North-East and North-West geopolitical zones, with only one nominee from the southern part of the country, that is South-West.
“The committee notes that this is not in strict compliance with the Federal Character Principle as provided for in section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The committee makes this observation to guide the Executive in future nominations.”
Another senator, Victor Umeh, noted that “the nominees have very rich, vital skills and experience.”
He, however noted that only one of the nominees was from the South-West, while the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, is from the North. “This makes a total of four people from the North; the South-East and South-South are not accommodated in this Commission,” Umeh said.
He argued that, “It is important that we include all regions in governing roles and in the fight against corruption, as it involves us all. “All geo-political zones should be included in this Commission.
Matthew Urhoghide supported Umeh, he noted that the distribution was wrong. “Let us delegate people to look at the distribution of these appointments. “I suggest that this matter be stood down while it is looked into.”
Different arguments from senators threw the chamber into uproar as the senators rose from their seats and yelled at each other. The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki was unable to control the rowdiness.
The Senate later went into a closed door session, which lasted for 25 minutes where they agreed that the confirmation of the nominees should be suspended for further legislative input.