.Replaces Ndume as Committee chair on INEC
The Senate on Tuesday made a U-turn over its decision to put on hold the confirmation process of the 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and commenced the legislative process on the nominees’ confirmation.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has therefore referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the nominees’ confirmation to the Senate Committee on INEC for legislative action and directed the committee to submit its report in two weeks.
The lawmakers had delayed the exercise in protest against President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to remove Mr. Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), having rejected Magu’s nomination twice.
Buhari had sent a letter to the Senate in March, asking the lawmakers to confirm the appointment of the 27 RECs.
But some of the senators kicked against the confirmation process on the grounds that the president must act on their resolution on Magu, thereby setting the stage for a showdown between the executive and the legislature.
Meanwhile, the Senate has reconstituted its Committee on INEC and named Senator Suleiman Nazif as its Chairman.
The development indicates that the former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, (APC Borno South), currently under six months suspension will no longer head the INEC Committee.
The Senate had suspended Ndume, following the allegations he raised over purchase of SUV Range Rover vehicle with fake document by the President, and also on alleged certificate scandal against Senator Dino Melaye.
He was suspended based on a report by the Ethics and Privileges Committee, barely two weeks after the Senate
President named him as the INEC Committee Chairman.
Relying on Senate Standing Orders 14 and 15, which deal with the privileges of senators, Ndume had in the heat of media report of the alleged scandals, urged the Senate to thoroughly investigate them for the sake of its integrity.
But the committee in its report, gave both Saraki and Melaye clean bill of health over the allegations and called for suspension of Ndume to which the Senate concurred to on the 29th of March this year.
Announcing Senator Nazif as the new Chairman of INEC Committee, Saraki said, “Since the Committee on INEC in the Senate has no Chairman, Senator Suleiman Nazif you are now the Chairman”.
Senator Nazif, hitherto, was the Senate Committee Chairman on Employment, Labour and Productivity.
In the event of his return to the Senate after suspension, Ndume, all things being equal may be asked to head the Committee on Labour and Employment generally considered as less juicy.