Politics

Presidency: Why We Keep Sending Nominees to Senate for Confirmation

Presidency: Why We Keep Sending Nominees to Senate for Confirmation

Presidency: Why We Keep Sending Nominees to Senate for Confirmation


The presidency yesterday rationalised why the executive arm of government continues to send the names of nominees to the Senate for confirmation, adding that it believes only a judicial interpretation of Section 171 of the constitution would resolve the dispute between the executive arm and the National Assembly on whether the appointment of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and other appointments could be done without the Senate’s approval.

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The presidency yesterday rationalised why the executive arm of government continues to send the names of nominees to the Senate for confirmation, adding that it believes only a judicial interpretation of Section 171 of the constitution would resolve the dispute between the executive arm and the National Assembly on whether the appointment of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and other appointments could be done without the Senate’s approval.

The executive and Senate have been at loggerheads for months over the latter’s insistence that the executive must remove Magu, having been rejected twice by the upper legislative chamber during his confirmation process.
However, the executive has refused, with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, latching onto Section 171 of the constitution, and stating that the confirmation of the Senate was not required for Magu’s appointment.
Osinbajo’s stance prompted a reaction from the Senate, which accused the presidency of double standards by sending the name of another nominee for the post of Director General of the National Lottery Commission after challenging the powers of its consideration and confirmation of nominees.

On this basis, the Senate said it would no longer consider nominees sent by the presidency except Magu ceases to act as the chairman of EFCC.
However, a legal source in the presidency said yesterday that though the executive believed that its position was the correct one, it nevertheless agreed that only the courts could finally lay the dispute to rest.
According to him, the government’s position was based on the legal advise prepared by judicial and legal experts.
He, however, did not state when the executive would seek for a judicial interpretation of the relevant section at the courts.

The presidency source, who spoke with THISDAY on the condition of anonymity, said although it was the view of the executive that certain federal appointments do not require the confirmation of the Senate, based on Section 171 of the constitution, it would nevertheless continue to send the names of some nominees to the Senate, pending the ultimate judicial interpretation of the matter.
He said: “Our position  is based on the legal advise prepared by judicial and legal experts as a working document in the presidency regarding the differences in the constitutional interpretations on matters of certain federal appointments. 
“In fact, the advisory unearthed a ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter where the current Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), before his elevation as CJN, had ruled in line with the view of the presidency on the matter.”

He said that it was not accurate to state that the executive had acted unilaterally on its interpretation of Section 171.
“This is because, even after the acting president (who spoke in support of the view of some leading lawyers), the presidency has continued to send nominations to the Senate when the president himself was around and in his absence by the acting president,” he added.
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INEC Asks Court to Discharge Order Stopping Melaye’s Recall
INEC Asks Court to Discharge Order Stopping Melaye’s Recall

INEC Asks Court to Discharge Order Stopping Melaye’s Recall


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to discharge its order which directed the commission to maintain the status quo on the recall process of the senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.

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INEC asked the court to set aside the order and to grant an order of accelerated hearing of the case filed by Melaye. 

The commission pledged its readiness to ensure that the case is determined speedily to enable it continue with the process for recalling the senator which it started before Melaye went to court.
 Justice John Tsoho had on July 6 refused Melaye’s ex-parte application to stop INEC from going ahead with the recall. However, he issued an order to maintain the status quo which became a subject of different interpretation.
After the order was served on INEC, it stopped the recall process but mandated its legal department to get the court to discharge the order.
Melaye went to court after he received a notice from INEC that the commission would commence the process to recall him on July 3.
The commission sent Melaye the notice after it received a formal petition from aggrieved electorate from the senatorial district signifying their intention to recall Melaye.
A statement signed by the National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, INEC said having received the petition and the signatures of the electorate, the next step was to verify that the petitioners were registered voters in the Kogi West senatorial district.
The statement read: “INEC held its regular weekly meeting today and considered the petition submitted by some registered voters from Kogi West senatorial district to kick-start the process of recalling Melaye.
 “In accordance with the INEC guidelines for the recall of members of the National Assembly, the commission has formally acknowledged the receipt of the petition to the petitioners’ representatives and has conveyed a letter notifying Melaye of our receipt of the petition.  
 “The next step is to verify that the petitioners are registered voters in the Kogi West senatorial district.”
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Kogi electorate file fresh suit to remove Bello as Governor of state

Kogi electorate file fresh suit to remove Bello as Governor of state

Kogi electorate file fresh suit to remove Bello as Governor of state


Mr Michael Elokun, Mr Ibrahim Sule and Mrs Hawa Adamu , all registered voters in Kogi are the electorate suing Bello on behalf of over 1.2 million registered voters in the state. Other defendants in the suit are: the All Progressives Party (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

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In the originating summon supported by a 19-paragraph affidavit, the petitioners are asking the court to remove the governor on grounds that he is not a registered voter in Kogi. The petitioners also urged the court to remove Bello on the grounds that he was not validly nominated in writing to contest the 2015 governorship election by any registered voter in the state. They contended that this was in accordance with Section 32 of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended. Elokun, Sule and Adamu want the court to affirm that since Bello was not a registered voter in Kogi, he could not be nominated for any elective position or be voted for by the electorate in the state. On this premise, the petitioners are asking the court to declare as null and void the declaration of Bello as the winner of the governorship election held in the state in 2015 by the INEC.
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