OrderPaperToday – The Senate on Wednesday approved the nomination of Adeleke Adewolu as Executive Commissioner for the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The approval was however opposed by some senators who argued that the governing board lacks representation from the south east geo-political zone of the country.
Presenting the report of the committee, the Chairman Senate committee on Communications, Senator Oluremi Tinubu noted that the nominee met the constitutional requirements to qualify for the position.
She said: “After exhaustive deliberations and scrutiny, the nominee has experience and competence in communications regulatory etc.”
Senator Uche Ekwunife in her contribution pointed out that the south-east was not represented in NCC board.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, then told the Senate leader to look into the matter while the chamber continues with the process of approving the nominee.
At the committee of the whole, Senator Francis Onyewuchi insisted that the approval should be discontinued as the process was an infringement on the provisions of the 1999 constitution with respect to federal character principle.
He said: “If the south east is missing that will not be an adherence to the law. Something has to be done to reflect the presence of the south east.”
Onyewuchi cited Section 14 (4) (3) of the 1999 constitution which provides that the composition of the government or it’s agencies must be carried out in such a manner that reflects federal character.
“We are lawmakers we cannot be seen to be floating the law. I urge we step down the confirmation of the nominee”, he said.
Lawan responded by describing the point of order as “needless because the Senator Ekwunife took note of it and I told the Senate leader to look into it.”
He added: “I think that is fair, I think we have passed that. This senate will go ahead and take the report. We have already taken the resolve to take report because we have noted from what she read. We have told a committee to go the extra mile. What else can we do beyond that? I will go ahead please.”
The confirmation was done and was put to a voice vote. The nays overshadowed the ayes.
The President of the red chamber however banged the gavel in favour of the ayes.
The Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi brought up another point of order on similar issue.
Lawan replied: “Deputy Chief Whip, your point of order is noted.”
He thereafter directed the Chairman committee on communications to check the representation of only the NCC governing board and report to the chamber on Tuesday.
Tinubu in her response queried the minority leader of the senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe who is also a member of the committee for not bringing up the matter at the committee’s meeting.