From Fred Itua, Abuja
Barely two weeks after it resolved not to consider further requests for confirmation of nominees from the presidency, the Senate, yesterday, made a shocking U-turn, as it received a report from its committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of 12 screened Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
The 12 nominees are Mrs. Asmanu Maikudi (Katsina), Sam Olumekun (Ondo), Mahmud Isah (Kebbi), Rufus Akeju (Lagos) and Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto).
Others are Kassim Geidam (Yobe), Jibrin Zarewa (Kano), Abdulganiyu Raji (Oyo), Samuel Egwu (Kogi), Mike Igini (Delta), Mustapha Zubairu (Niger) and Ahmad Mahmud (Zamfara).
The nominees are expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
The Senate, had on July 4, 2017, vowed that requests from the presidency will not be considered until Acting President Yemi Osinbajo withdraws a statement credited to him that the Senate did not need to confirm nominees from the executive arm.
As at the time of filing in this report, Osinbajo was yet to tender any apology or withdraw the controversial statement.
Senate took the position a fortnight ago following the unveiling of a letter sent to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urging the upper chamber to confirm Lanre Gbajabiamila as substantive Director-General of the National Lottery Commission (NLC).
Senator Ahmed Yerima from Zamfara State, who raised Order 14 of the Senate Standing Rules argued that since the acting president had already concluded that the Senate lacked the powers to confirm nominees, there was no need to acknowledge any letter from the executive on issues related to confirmation.
The Senate had, accordingly, resolved that it would suspend consideration of nominees from the executive until issues relating to the power of the Senate to confirm were resolved.
Lawmakers equally passed a resolution and reinforced its earlier position that all nominees rejected by the Senate should be relieved of their duties, with particular reference to the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.