The Senate screening of four nominees into the board of the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) has been suspended.
The names of Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam Najib and Adeleke Adebayo Rafiu had been sent to the Senate by President Buhari for screening and confirmation.
But n Tuesday 11 December, the upper chamber observed that of the four nominees, one was from the southwest region and the other three including Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu are from the northern regions of Nigeria. This leaves no representation from the southeast and southsouth regions on the board.
There was debate in plenary with Chief Victor Umeh [APGA, Anambra Central] calling for suspension of the screening exercise until the anomaly is corrected to reflect the federal character principle in the Nigerian constitution. “It is important that we include all regions in governing roles and in the fight against corruption, as it involves us all”, he counseled.
But senate majority leader, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan [APC, Yobe North] disagreed, arguing for the confirmation of the nominations pending any future adjustments.
After a 25 minutes closed executive session, the legislators resolved that “confirmation of the EFCC nominees should be suspended for further legislative input”, but not before the Senate President, Bukola Saraki cautioned that “those that advise the President [Buhari] should show concern and show that they are conversant with the feelings of Nigerians.”
President Buhari, since coming into office, have been dogged with allegations of marginalizing the southeast and southsouth regions of Nigeria where he received the least votes in his 2015 election and where he remains largely unpopular.
At the Executive session, the Senate deliberated on the issues bordering on workings of the Nigerian Senate and the @nassnigeria in general and also agreed that the confirmation of the EFCC nominees should be suspended for further legislative input.#TodayInSenatePlenary
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) December 11, 2018