The Senate, yesterday, queried the request by President Goodluck Jonathan to sack a member of the Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska. This was part of its resolution in which it decided to give him a fair hearing on the charges against him.
Jonathan in a letter to the Senate, asked for the removal of Gwaska who hails from Nasarawa state, citing reasons including “consistently refusing to respect lawful directives, absents himself from duty without authorisation, unlawfully retain two official cars and strategic official files of the Commission in his private custody”
Others reasons cited by the President included that, “he (Gwaska) has remained unwilling to subject himself to constituted authority, thus creating an un-conducive atmosphere for the Commission which may encourage rancour in the system, with its attendant negative effect on the efficiency and service delivery”
However, the request split the senate which resolved to go into a committee of the whole house, as the president did not submit a report of a disciplinary committee to back his request.
They also disagreed over whether or not it was proper to second guess the compliance of due process of the executive as some argued that the letter presented by the president should be trusted to have observed the due process.
However, the Senate President, David Mark, who finally ruled that the committee on federal character should invite Gwaska to hear his side on the matter, warned against setting a precedence which would cause second guessing between both arms of government over the observance of due process.
He said, “There are two basic issues here, the first is, we have a letter from Mr President, we believe that he has done this thing but we need to confirm it.