The Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South) will today screen Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as INEC chairman for a second and final term in office.
The committee chairman disclosed this hours after it got a marching
order from the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to screen the nominee within three days and submit its report on Tuesday.
Lawan had given the directive at plenary when President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the confirmation of Yakubu was considered and subsequently referred to the Committee for further legislative action.
Lawan specifically told the Committee to get to work and turn up its report unfailingly on the next legislative day, which is Tuesday, December 1, 2020. The screening of Yakubu is expected to take place at 2pm this Thursday.
Also referred to the panel was the nomination of Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru as INEC Commissioner representing North-West, for which report is expected on the same day.
This is coming about two months after the President had earlier nominated his social media aide, Lauretta Onochie, along with two others as National Commissioners in INEC. Onochie is to represent the South-South zone.
Onochie’s nomination generated controversy with CSOs and others condemning the appointment of a partisan person into such a sensitive position.
Since the letter of the nomination was read on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, October, 2020, nothing has been heard about it as the upper legislative chamber has apparently stayed action on the nomination without advancing any reason.
Meanwhile, earlier while submitting his committee report on the 2021
budget proposals of INEC to the Senator Barau Jibrin-led Appropriation
Committee, Senator Gaya revealed that an additional N550 Million was
included in the proposals to address acute housing and office
accommodation shortages facing the commission.
When the chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Jibrin along with
his deputy, Senator Stella Oduah, asked Gaya where the N550 Million
will be sourced from, he said it would be taken from outstanding
balance of monies appropriated for the commission in 2020 fiscal year.
In another development, the Senate also referred four more
confirmation requests by President Buhari to relevant committees for
further legislative inputs.
Lawan during the plenary referred the President’s request for the
confirmation of the Chairman and Members of the National Commission
for Persons with Disabilities to the Committee on Youths and Sports.
In a related development, the confirmation of the nominations of
members of the Governing Council of the Hydroelectric Power Producing
Areas Development Commission (HYPADEC); and appointments of Chairman,
Vice Chairman and Commissioners for the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory
Commission (NERC) were both referred to the Senate Committee on Power.
Also, the confirmation of the nomination of Chief Onyemuche Nnamani as
Member of the Police Service Commission (PSC) was referred to the
Committee on Police Affairs.
The three standing committees were all given four weeks to report back
to the Senate.