The senate may resume the screening of persons appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly the board members of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In March 2017, Buhari sent the names of Lucky Orimiso (Ondo), Chukwa Anwawa (Imo) and Nwogu Nwogu (Abia) as replacement nominees after the senate had earlier refused to confirm three persons.
The senators had said the nominations contravened the NDDC act.
Speaking during plenary on Wednesday, Mao Ohuabunwa, senator representing Abia north, said the NDDC board had been inaugurated but some states were not represented in the commission.
Ohuabunwa argued that the NDDC screening predates the senate resolution suspending confirmation of the presidency’s appointees over the president’s refusal to sack Ibrahim Magu, chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“This morning you have read the budget of NDDC and if you look at the act that established NDDC, the composition of the commission is made up in accordance to the act. Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers states,” the senator said.
“As I speak today, two or three states are not represented on this board and this board has been inaugurated and has been functioning. Mr president, I agree that on this floor we resolved to suspend screening but this one was already long before that even though there was a replacement and the screening was on before we took that decision.
“Mr president I am bringing this before you to look at this and allow the committee to complete screening so that these two or three states are left unattended to. Things are moving on, the commission is working that is why I have come to you this morning to take away NNDC from that resolution.”
Responding, Senate President Bukola Saraki said the upper legislative chamber would look into the matter.
“I am happy that you made reference to the fact that we all here at the senate passed a resolution on this matter. The issue you just raised, we will look at it to see if the exercise itself started before the resolution,” Saraki said.
“I know this resolution we took it in March last year. So secretariat should check the records. If it(NDDC screening) had started before, we will look into it, but if it had started after, unless that resolution is rescinded we are all bound by that resolution.”
In 2017, the senate resolved not to screen any nominee from the presidency until Magu leaves office.