Senate withdraws confirmation of Akwa Ibom REC

OrderPaperToday – The Senate has rescinded its confirmation of a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Udo Tom.

Mr. Tom was among the four nominees for the position of REC on Wednesday.

Senator Albert Bassey (PDP, Akwa Ibom) in a point of order during Senate plenary on Thursday, drew the attention of his colleagues to a petition against the nominee from his state. He was ruled out of order because the matter had already been deliberated and decided.

But in a other point of order, under Order 43 and 53(6), which allows the Senate to revisit an already matter, Sen. Bassey asked that the chamber withdraws the confirmation but according to him, he submitted the petition to the Committees on INEC and Public Petitions but deliberations on it were not reflected in the report read by the chairman of INEC committee, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, on Wednesday.

He said: “I wish to draw the attention of the Committee on INEC headed by Nazif to the fact that I and the committee had received a petition against this nominee which was received on the 5th of February 2018 and the report of the committee that was laid before the Senate did not take cognizance of the fact that there is a petition against the nominee.

“I have with me, the report of that committee on page 5. There is no reference, whatsoever to the petition. This same petition was also referred to the committee on ethics and privileges and public petition.

“I therefore wish to seek the authority of this chamber and of the Senate President that the confirmation of the nominee from Akwa Ibom be stepped down and sent to the committee for proper work and maybe, thereafter, submitted back to the Senate. I am not really against the nominee hut I believe that the petition be reflected in the report.”

The Chairman committee on Ethics and Privileges , Sam Anyawu clarified that his committee received  the petition “but we wanted the committee on INEC to finish their own report before we juxtapose what they have done with our own report. So we have not sent in our own report yet.”

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki then ruled that the matter should be sent back to the Committee on INEC for more legislative work.

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