Lopsided EFCC Board: Senate leader exonerates C’ttee of constitutional breach

Nigerian Senate was thrown into rowdy session on Tuesday after South-South and South-East senators accused President Buhari of lopsided appointment into Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC board.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Chukwuka Utazi had earlier presented to the Senate a screening report on the nominees into the board EFCC board, wherein the committee recommended that the Senate confirm Ndasule Moses (North-Central), Lawan Mamman (North-West), Galadanci Najib (North-East) and Adeleke Rafiu (south-West) as members.

Reacting, Senator representing Anambra Central, Vector Umeh, drew the attention of the Senate to the skewness of the four-man list, noting that since the acting chairman and the just confirmed secretary of the Commission are from North-East and South-West respectively, nominating persons from these zones at the expense of the South-East and South-South violate the federal character principle.

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“The south-south and south-east are not accommodated in the commission. On the issue of the fight against corruption – it involves all parts of Nigeria,” Umeh said.

Reacting to the concern raised by Senator Umeh, leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, said this does not infringe on any law as the constitution does not mandate him to selection person from each zone.

The Act of the Commission states that the president appoints six eminently qualified Nigerians.

Senator Chukwuka Utazi supported the observation raised by Umeh saying, “the six positions could go round the six zones. To leave it the way it is doesn’t give a sense of belonging.”

Meanwhile, Senator Ali Ndume blamed Senator Utazi, who is the chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee for allowing such sensitive issue to get to the floor of the Senator, even as he reminded Utazi that he is from South-East, thus, he would have nipped the issue at the bud.

On his part, Senator Matthew Orhoghide alleged that the bias list is targeted at witch-hunting politicians from the sidelined zones.

The issue degenerated to the point that the Senate was forced to move into executive session.

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