*As Senate makes U-turn on Buhari’s RECs nominees
From: FRED ITUA, Abuja
The travails of the immediate-past Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, maybe far from over, as the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday, announced his replacement as chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) committee.
In his place, Saraki announced the chairman of the Senate committee on Labour, Senator Suleiman Nazif from Bauchi State.
“For now, there is no committee chairman on INEC. We need to get this job done. Senator Suleiman Nazif should now be the chairman of that committee. You are to report back within two weeks,” Saraki said.
Ndume was removed as Senate Leader in early January, 2017. He was subsequently suspended as a Senator in March, 2017, following the adoption of a report of the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
The suspension of the former Senate Leader, Ndume, is expected to last for six months. Ndume, since his suspension, has not been seen within and around the National Assembly complex.
Saraki made the announcement of Ndume’s replacement when the Senate commenced moves to consider 27 names of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs)
Senate’s consideration of the names of the 27 RECs, is coming, despite the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu.
On the 28th of March, the Senate urged President Buhari to respect the outcome of its decision on the rejection of Magu.
Failure to take heed, the Senate had vowed that it will not consider or confirm the 27 names of RECs, sent to it last week by President Buhari.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Peter Nwaoboshi from Delta State, the Senate had directed its President, Bukola Saraki, to within two weeks, convey its position about the non-replacement of Magu to Buhari and report back to allow it take further legislative actions on the matter.
As at the time of filing in this report, Saraki was yet to officially brief his colleagues on the outcome of his meeting with President Buhari on the continuous stay in office of Magu as EFCC boss.
The names of the 27 RECs nominees are 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).
Others 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).