Senate Suspends All Matters Relating To Confirmation Of Nominees To Protest Osinbajo’s Alleged Comments

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President of the Nigerian Senate

By Nuel Suji – The Senate has vowed to henceforth stall the confirmation of nominees sent by the Executive, protesting statement credited to acting President, Yemi Osinbajo that it lacks the power to confirm certain nominees.

The Senate at it Tuesday plenary resolved to “suspend all issues relating to confirmation of nominees from the executives until the issues of confirmation as contained in the constitution and laws of the national assembly is adhered to.”

Senators “urged the President to withdraw his earlier statement that the Senate does not have powers to confirm certain nominees.

“The Acting president must respect the constitution and laws enacted by the National Assembly as it relates to confirmation of appointments,” it stated in its resolution, adding that the Acting president should immediately respect the rejection of nominees by the Senate.”

The resolutions followed a motion by Ahmed Yerima, (APC Zamfara) questioning Osinbajo’s decision to the request senate’s confirmation of Lanre Gbajabiamiala as the Director- General of National Lottery Commission.

Yerima argued, in a point of order, that the request is confusing given the statement credited to Osibanjo.

Said he: “I recall that at one time a statement was issued by the Acting President that the senate has no power to confirm outside the provision of the constitution. I really don’t know if the Acting President is changing his statement by his action on this letter.”

Senator George Sekibo (PDP, Rivers) argued that the confirmation Gbajabiamila be suspended, citing Section 153 of the Constitution.

According to him, “the issue of clearing of nominees by Mr. President is one of the fundamental functions of the senate. Now if the Acting President is saying we do not have the power, I wonder whether he is in touch with the provisions of the EFCC Act.

“Every Act by the National Assembly is an appendage from the constitution of the country. In a civilian democracy, there is nothing like executive orders. Things are treated according to the provisions of the constitution.

“When a nomination is not accepted, that person is rejected maybe it can go further but the person is rejected and the person is still serving in that same office. It goes contrary to the intentions of the constitution. The moment they play down on the constitution they are laying down on the integrity of Nigerians and the National Assembly.

“If the Acting President said we do not have the power to confirm and then on the other hand he is sending us a document to confirm, so what are we talking? Has he withdrawn from saying we don’t have the power to confirm? Then what of the one we rejected and they still continue on their own in office. I think the Senate should place a suspension until these issues are properly resolved. Let them look at this.

Sen. Dino Melaye (APC Kogi) cautioned the President of the Senate to be resolute in defence of the Constitution, arguing the need to protect the legislature against the actions of the Executive.

“It is time for the Senate to tell the Executive arm of government to stop playing blues and dance reggae. It is time to start approbating than re probating. This Senate that our founding fathers fought to start is about to be destroyed.

“May it not be in the time of Bukola Saraki that the powers of the Senate are being eroded. In this same chamber, we invited Magu, he came for a job interview and he failed, as I speak with you he is still parading himself as chairman of EFCC,” Melaye said.

“Then another was brought this morning, even the RECs, they answered some and some were retained. We are not in a banana Republic,” he added.

The motion was later put to question and the motion was carried.

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