JUST IN: Senate In Rowdy Session Over EFCC Board Nominees
The Senate chamber was on Tuesday thrown into a rowdy session as lawmakers disagreed over the confirmation of four new members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The members are Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Najib and Adeleke Adebayo Rafiu.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in July 2018 written to the Senate, seeking confirmation of the nominees as members of the commission.
No sooner had the Chairman of the Committee on Anti-corruption, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North), finished the presentation of the committee’s report at plenary than Victor Umeh, senator representing Anambra central, said the nominees should not be confirmed because the South-East and South-South were excluded.
“The South-South and South-East are not accommodated in the commission. On the issue of the fight against corruption – it involves all parts of Nigeria,” Umeh said.
“If you look at the composition, Mr President some people will think that the fight against corruption is instituted against them. There is need to take people from other geo-political zones.”
He noted that Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the commission; and Olanipkekun Olukoyede, secretary of the commission, are from the north-east and south-west respectively.
The senator said the four nominees to be confirmed are neither from the South-South or South-East.
Responding, Utazi said a committee set up to look at the President’s alleged lopsided appointments had gone underground and refused to present a report.
Also, Enyinnaya Abaribe, senator representing Abia South, said the consideration of the nominees should be stepped down until it is amended.
Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno South, said Utazi should have drawn the attention of the Senate leadership to the matter instead of bringing a report urging them to confirm the nominees.
At this point, both Utazi and Isah Misau, senator representing Bauchi central, interrupted Ndume.
“We must not divide Nigeria,” Misau said. While Utazi was heard saying: “I have the floor, go and sit down.”
“You have a rowdy floor,” another senator said.
The chamber was thrown into pandemonium as lawmakers rose from their seats and yelled at each other – rowdiness which lasted for a while.
Effort by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to calm the angry lawmakers was unsuccessful. This prompted the lawmakers to go into a closed-door session.
When they emerged from the closed-door session, Saraki announced that it had been agreed that the confirmation of the EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) nominees should be suspended for further legislative input.\\
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