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Published On: Thu, Jun 7th, 2018

2019: Senate confirms Buhari’s RECs for Akwa Ibom, Niger, Imo, Zamfara

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As Marafa accuses C’ttee chair of compromise

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu

The Senate yesterday confirmed the four Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) who were appointed recently by President Muhammadu Buhari, for the states of Akwa Ibom, Niger, Zamfara and Imo, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The nominees who scaled the Senate screening and confirmation were: Monday Udo Tom (Akwa Ibom), Attahiru Garba Madami (Niger), Festus Okoye (Imo), and Ahmed Bello Mahmud (Zamfara).

In a related development, Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), whose REC was among those confirmed, had earlier accused the chairman of the senate committee that screened the nominees of compromise, threatening to present evidence of the compromise to the senate.
These followed the consideration of the report of the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the Senate, which was presented by the chairman, Suleiman Nazif (APC, Bauchi).
Presenting the report of the committee, Nazif said the members considered the security reports and credentials of experiences and academics of the nominees and discovered that they were qualified for the position, adding that they were asked questions to which they responded intelligently.
He said having certified the nominees to be competent, they have no objections than to present them for confirmation by the senate, having certified all the requirement and having no petition except the Zamfara nominee.
During the report presentation by the senate committee on INEC headed by Nazif, it was recommended to the senate to reject the nominee of Zamfara on the basis of the petition by the state governor.
But senator Marafa kicked against this recommendation, accusing the chairman of compromise. He said what the chairman was presenting was contrary to wha transpired at the committee screening, saying he has evidence that the committee chairman compromised, which he said he was ready to present to the senate.
When the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asked him to appologise to the chairman, he refused insisting that he can withdraw his comments if they were offensive but cannot backdown on his point of order, adding that he will not allow the rejection of the Zamfara to stand in the Senate.
Following this brow raised by Senator Marafa, the senate rejected the opposition and petition against the Zamfara nominee by the Governor of Zamfara state, Abdulazeez Yari, who had claimed that the nominee is not from his state.
This opposition by the Governor was earlier countered by Kabiru Marafa, who insisted that the nominee is an indigene of the state, and cannot be rejected by the senate. He urged the senate to ignore the petition by the governor and confirm the nominee.
He explained that the nominee was born in the state, attended his primary and secondary education in the state, before proceeding for his university education.
He asked the senate to mandate the chairman of the committee to show the affidavit that sworn by the nominee that he is not from the state, failure of which he said the report of the committee cannot stand in the senate.
Sequel to this, the Senate President, put the question on whether the senate should confirm the four nominees, and the majority overwhelmingly voted that the four nominees should be confirmed, and it was so carried.

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