The Senate has suspended the confirmation of four persons nominated as members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The suspension of the nominees’ confirmation came on the heels of the acrimony that greeted the complaint that certain sections of the country were not represented on the list. The Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes had, on Tuesday, presented to the Plenary its finding on the four EFCC nominees, but the legislators noted that the South-East and the South-South were “not accommodated” in the Commission. The four nominees presented for confirmation were: Ndasule Moses (North Central), Lawan Mamman (North East), Galadanci Imam Najib (North West) , and Adeleke Adebayo Rafiu (South West). They were nominated as members of the EFCC, and needed to be confirmed by the National Assembly. At the Tuesday Plenary, Senator Chukwuka Utazi presented the report of the committee concerning the confirmation of the nominees. Senator Barnabas Gemade seconded the motion asking the Senate to consider the report. 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,” Umeh said; adding, “The South-East and South-South are not accommodated in this Commission.” 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. Supporting Umeh, another senator, Matthew Urhoghide, noted that “The distribution is wrong;” urging, “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.” The federal lawmakers were however divided, as senators from the South East and South South geopolitical zones argued that federal character was not considered in making the nominations. Senators Victor Umeh from Anambra State, Mathew Urhoghide from Edo and Eyinnaya Abaribe from Abia State argued that the confirmation should be stepped down and nominees be returned to the President for reconsideration. But senators from the Northern part of the country, especially those elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, said the nominees should be confirmed. Senator Ali Ndume also said the issue should not have been raised on the floor of the Senate since the chairman of the committee, who is from the South East, did not raise the issue. Utazi counselled that since there were six members in the committee, all of them should be directed to focus on one geo-political zone each and come up with a more balanced report. However, Senator Ahmad Lawan advised the lawmaker to “pass the nominations as presented,” but that they should eventually correct it to ensure equal representation for all geo-political zones. The Senate thereafter went into Executive Session, which lasted for 25 minutes. At the Executive session, the Senate agreed that the confirmation of the EFCC nominees should be suspended for further legislative input.
1. Report of the Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes on the confirmation of the following nominees as Members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by Senator Chukwuka Utazi. pic.twitter.com/e7hgnhSnO1
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) December 11, 2018
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