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Presidency, Senate bicker over nominee’s disqualification


Chief Okoi Obono-Obla

Chief Okoi Obono-Obla

The Senate and the Presidency might be back in a fresh faceoff. The bone of contention is the manner the legislative chamber rejected Senior Special Assistant to the President in charge of Prosecution, Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla.

President Buhari had nominated Obono-Obla for the position of non-executive commissioner on the governing board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

While the Senate insisted Obono-Obla was validly rejected, the Presidency accused Senate President Bukola Saraki of abusing his privileges as presiding officer. It alleged Saraki allowed his interest in the matter to prevail over the chamber’s decision.

Obono-Obla has protested what he described as his back-door removal by Saraki.In a mail entitled, ‘Can the Senate President unilaterally overrule the confirmation of a nominee by the Senate?’ the aide wondered why he was removed even after the House had confirmed his nomination.

The Senate, however, has cleared Saraki of alleged abuse of due process on the matter.Its spokesman, Abdullahi Saabi Aliu, in a statement said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the nomination of Mr. Obla was never confirmed or voted for, since no decision of the Senate is said to have been approved if it is not adopted during the consideration of the votes and proceedings of the Senate at the next legislative day.

“The Senate also wishes to note that the business of the Senate can only be binding when the votes and proceedings have been adopted and approved without any objection.”

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Bukola SarakiNCC

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