The Senate yesterday confirmed the nomination of eight nominees as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).It also rejected one nominee and stepped down three others for further legislative consultation.This was sequel to the report from the Committee on INEC, which had earlier cleared nine nominees including that of Lagos State.The eight nominees cleared are: Kassim Gana Geidam (Yobe), reappointment; Asmanu Sani Maikudi (Katsina State), new appointment; Sam Olumekun (Ondo), reappointment and Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto), new appointment.
Others are Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji (Oyo), new appointment; Mike Igini (Delta) reappointment, Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano), reappointment and Samuel Egwu (Kogi) new appointment.
While Rufus Oloruntoyin Akeju (Lagos), Ahmad Bello Mahmud (Zamfara) and Mahmud Isah (Kebbi), were stepped down, Mustapha Zubairu, the nominee from Niger State was rejected.
Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti State) presented a court judgement against Akeju, arguing that the legislative body should not be seen to be flouting a valid court verdict.On this premise, the Senate resolved to step down the confirmation of the Lagos nominee for further legislative action and consultation.
Also, Senate President Bukola Saraki had reaffirmed that the Senate had not made a U-turn by confirming the nominees following a point of order raised by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia south) asking if senate had reversed itself on its decision regarding further confirmation of nominees as reported in some dailies.
Saraki pointed out that the Senate resolution does not affect confirmation expressly stated in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).He explained that the July 4, resolution only affected requests for confirmation of appointment into all establishments created by acts of parliament.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to vacate its earlier order stopping the process towards the recall of Senator Dino Melaye.
When the matter was called yesterday before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba’s court, Counsel to INEC, Sulayman Ibrahim, informed the court that the applications have been served on Melaye’s counsel. But Senator Melaye’ s lawyer, Mr. Nkem Okoro, stated that he was served with the applications only on Tuesday and that he needed seven days to respond. Consequently, the vacation judge, Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter till Thursday, 27 July, for hearing.