By Ahuraka Isah,
The Senate yesterday banned the Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, from going to his office until he is confirmed as stipulated by the constitution.
The Red Chamber said Gbajabiamila must, henceforth, not be seen within the vicinity of NLR within the vicinity of the office of the DG until he is confirmed and an appointment letter is given to him”.
The Senate Leader, who came under Order 43 of Personal Explanation, however, advised the executive not to allow such mistake happen again, while also urging all nominees who may be so eager to start work to tarry a while until due diligence is followed to its logical conclusion.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki commended Lawan for carrying out the investigation within 24 hours of the assignment and warned Gbajabiamila to steer clear of the NLRC until his appointment is referred to the Senate and confirmed as required by law.
President Buhari had appointed 23 heads of various federal agencies, including Gbajabiamila for NLRC, following an announcement made by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on April 14 this year.
According to the SGF, the appointments were with immediate effect, even a he brushes aside referral to the Senate for confirmation.
But Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West) on Wednesday came under Personal Explanation of Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules to raise what he described as “selective respect for the law” and negation of the promise made by “my party, APC”.
Continuing, he said: “Whereas Section 8(1) of the Nigerian Lottery Regulation Commission says the President shall appoint the Director-General subject to the confirmation of the Senate, but Mr. Gbajabiamila had resumed office, following the April 14 announcement without waiting for his confirmation by the lawmakers.
“Executive branch had sought consideration and confirmation of appointments of others, including Resident Electoral Commissioners and Central Bank of Nigeria board members; but wondered why the law on the headship of the lottery commission would be disregarded”.
Senate Probes Alleged Lopsided Recruitment In DSS
Also, the Senate yesterday directed its committee on Federal Character to carry out thorough investigation on recent alleged lopsided recruitment carried out by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Chairman of the committee, Senator Tijjani Yahaya Kaura (APC Zamfara North), had during plenary declared that his committee, based on petitions, resolved to probe the exercise considered to be highly lopsided in favour of a particular state and section of the country.
Senator Kaura, who rose through Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules to intimate his colleagues of the move, said probing the alleged lopsided recruitment by the DSS and taking needed steps thereafter would go a long way in restoring the confidence of Nigerians on the principles of federal character required for such exercise on the basis of equity, justice and fairness.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while responding, gave the Senate committee on Federal Character the go ahead to carry out the probe and update the Senate with its findings.
Saraki said, “Your committee should please go ahead with the planned investigation on the alleged lopsided recruitment in DSS to right whatever wrongs that must have been committed in the general interest of all Nigerians”.
It would be recalled that the alleged lopsided recruitment exercise carried out by DSS last month revealed wide disparity in state by state allocation of the 479 newly commissioned cadet officers.
While the Director-General of DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, ensured that at least five cadets were recruited from each state of the federation and the FCT, the scale was heavily tipped in favour of some states in the North, regarding other extraneous considerations.