Senate Reverses REC’s Confirmation, Okays Kafarati as FHC CJ
The Senate has withdrawn its confirmation of Mr Monday Udo Tom as Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission to represent Akwa Ibom State.
The reversal came about 24 hours after Tom was confirmed by the Senate along with three others, Festus Okoye (Federal Commissioner/South-East), Attahiru Garba Madami (REC/Niger State) and Ahmed Bello Mahmud (REC/Zamfara State).
The upper chamber of the National Assembly reversed itself on the confirmation based on the request by Senator Bassey Akpan (Akwa Ibom North-East), who said there was a pending petition against the nominee which the Committee on INEC failed to address in its report that was adopted on Wednesday.
The committee had recommended that Tom should be confirmed while it proposed Mahmud for non-confirmation for the third time based on a separate petition against him.
Senate, however, overruled the committee on Mahmud.
On Thursday, Akpan said, “I wish to draw the attention of this Senate to the fact that I tried to raise a point of order yesterday (Wednesday) but I was ruled out of order by Mr. President.”
“I wish to draw the attention of this Senate to Order 53(6) regarding the screening and confirmation of Elder Monday Udo Tom who is the REC-nominee from Akwa Ibom State. I wish to draw the attention of the Committee on INEC to the fact that I and the committee had received a petition against the nominee, which was received on the February 5, 2018.”
“The report of the committee that was laid before the Senate did not take a cognisance of the fact that there is a petition against the nominee. There is no reference whatsoever to the fact that a petition that was submitted and copied to all the senators representing Akwa Ibom State was against this committee. This same petition was also copied to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.”
“I, therefore, wish to seek the authority of this Senate that the confirmation of the nominee from Akwa Ibom State be stepped down and referred to the committee for proper work, and maybe thereafter report back to the Senate. I am not against the nominee but I believe that since there is a petition against him, it should be reflected in the committee’s report.”
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, put Akpan’s prayer to a voice vote and it was unanimously granted. He referred the matter to the committee “for further legislative work.”
Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of Justice Abdul Adamu Karafati as the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
The confirmation followed the adoption of the report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the consideration of the report, thanked the lawmakers for ensuring that the Federal High Court got a proper leader. He noted that the confirmation was done in less than one week.
Ekweremadu said, “On your behalf, I will like to congratulate Justice Abdul Kafarati on his appointment and advise that in the course of his tenure as the Chief Judge, we will like to see him, together with his colleagues, upholding the rule of law, ensuring the independence of the judiciary and most importantly making sure that they remain incorruptible. It is absolutely necessary for these three things to be done.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Karafati and wrote the Senate requesting legislative confirmation of the appointment.
Saraki read Buhari’s letter to the chamber on Tuesday.
Subscribe for your copy/copies now