Inside Details: Why Senate rejected confirmation of Lagos nominee, Rufus Akeju, as INEC REC

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*Senate confirms 8 INEC RECs, reject Niger nominee, steps down 3 * Lagos nominee, Akeju’s confirmation stepped down on basis of a court judgment challenging his appointment. The Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Mrs Asmanu Maikudi from Katsina State and seven others as Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC). Other nominees, who were equally confirmed are, Mr Sam Olumekun from Ondo State, Prof. Riskuwa Shehu from Sokoto State, Mr Kassim Geidam from Yobe and Jibrin Zarewa from Kano State. Prof. Samuel Egwu from Kogi, Mr Mike Igini from Delta and Abdulganiyu Raji from Oyo State were also confirmed. The upper chamber, however, stepped down consideration of Amb. Rufus Akeju (Lagos), Dr Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi) and Ahmad Mahmud (Zamfara). It also rejected the nomination of Prof. Mustapha Zubairu of Niger on the ground that he came from the same geo-political zone with Mohammed Haruna, the Federal Commissioner, representing North Central in INEC. This decision of the senate followed the report of the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented by its Chairman, Sen. Suleiman Nazif. The decision of the chamber to step down the confirmation of Akeju was sequel to a Point-of-Order raised by the Deputy Minority Whip, Sen. Biodun Olujimi, on a court judgment against his appointment. Displaying a copy of the judgment, she warned that confirming the nominee would amount to a negation of the powers of the judiciary. On the nominees from Kebbi and Zamfara, the senate said that there were issues on their cases that needed to be further investigated. In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, charged the successful nominees to contribute their quota to transform election process in the country. “The newly confirmed Resident Electoral Commissioners are people of high integrity, disciplined and full of patriotism. “So, we expect that the gains recorded by INEC in the previous elections should be surpassed. “The timetable recently released by INEC for 2019 general elections is timely and this will give the newly-appointed RECs an opportunity to correct the mistakes of the previous elections. “On our part as a Senate, our committee is working on the amendment of the Electoral Act to further complement the electoral body,’’ he said.
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