By Tunde Adetunji, Abuja.
Has the Senate succumbed to the pressure of the presidency’s insistence on the choice of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC)?
Or, has the Senate accepted the near-sacrifice of Babachir David Lawal, prompting its decision to forget its anger with the presidency and initiate, Tuesday, the process of screening President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
A Senate source discountenanced the two positions, insisting that the Senate displeasure still remained in the face of the interpretation of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s office of the Constitution that Magu could continue to act.
On Babachir, he said there was no sacrifice or near-sacrifice. “I believe they will clear him and sacrifice Ayo Oke. You don’t know this people…there is no agreement whatsoever and the Senate is not succumbing to anything.
“The Senate suspended action on it for two weeks to show its displeasure and it kept its word.”
On March 28, the Upper House stood down the consideration of the list because Magu continued to occupy the office of acting chairman of EFCC after been rejected twice by the Senate.
The RECs, whose names were forwarded to the Senate Committee on INEC following a motion by Leader Ahmed Lawan are:
Dr. Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi), Prof. Samuel Egwu (Kogi), Amb. Rufus Akeju (Lagos), Prof. Mustapha Zubairu (Niger), Agboke Mutiu Olaleke (Ogun), Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun (Ondo), AbdulGaniyu Olayinka Taju (Oyo), Prof. Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto), Barr. Kasim Gana Geidam (Yobe), Ahmad Bello Mahmud (Zamfara), Dr. Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda (Plateau), Umar Ibrahim (Taraba), Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu (Anambra), Mr. Emeka Ononamadu Joseph (Imo), Obo. O. Effanga (Cross River) and Dr. Briyai O. Frankland (Baylesa), Prof. Godswill Obioma (Abia), Ibrahim Abdullahi (Adamawa), Alhaji Ahmad Makama (Bauchi), James Apam (Benue), Barr. Mike Igini (Delta), Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji ( Ebonyi), Dr. Illoh Joseph Chuks (Enugu), Hussaini Halilu Pai (FCT), Sadiq Abubakar Musa (Kaduna), Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano), Dr. (Mrs) and Asmau Sani Maikudi (Katsina).
The request was sent to the Senate Committee on INEC for processing for two weeks.
The INEC Committee is now to be headed by Senator Suleiman Nazif (APC, Bauchi North).
Senate President Bukola Saraki’s reason for choice of Nazif: “As you all know, there is no chairman for INEC, so Senator Mohammed Nazif will now chair it. He is to report back in two weeks.”
The chairman of the Senate Commitee on INEC, Senator Ali Ndume, has been on suspension.