—–As Senate postpones confirmation of Buhari’s REC list

The contest for supremacy between the legislature and executive arms of government came to the on Tuesday, as the Senate resolved to stand down the consideration and confirmation of 27 appointees as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) forwarded to it by President Mohammadu Buhari.

The Senate stood down the consideration of the appointees for two weeks.

President Buhari had forwarded the 27 names for confirmation as RECs for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in compliance with sections 14(3)(a) of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

But affer a two hour executive session, Senate President, Bukola Saraki
explained that discussions centered on the workings of the National Assembly.

He said the Senators resolved to protect and defend the Senate as an institution of government by pushing ahead with the discharge of its constitutional duties without fear or favour.

According to him, “The Senate at the closed door deliberated on issues concerning the workings of the Senate and National Assembly. The Senate resolved to defend and protect the integrity of the institution and we would not be intimidated by any form of attacks while performing our constitutional responsibility”.

Some Senators who were aggrieved over the leadership style of President Buhari noted that some of the nominees have been acting in that capacity for a long time in disregard for constitutional provision that says Senate must confirm such appointments.

A classical case in point was that of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, who had been in acting capacity for over one year now without confirmation.

Senator Francis Alimikhena, supported the stand down of the confirmation saying, “Let’s hear from President Muhammadu Buhari on Magu’s case, Magu is terrorising us, because we disqualified him.”

While Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, moved a motion for the Senate to stand down the request for confirmation of the 27 RECs, Senator Clifford Odia, seconded him.

When Senate President put the question to the floor on whether the request should be granted, the majority supported the stand down of the confirmation.