The Senate on Wednesday finally confirmed the appointment of Olanipekun Olukoyede as Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The confirmation followed a report submitted by Chukwuka Utazi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti Corruption and Financial Crimes, which recommended the confirmation of Mr Olukoyede’s appointment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that efforts to confirm Mr Olukoyede’s appointment on Tuesday failed following disagreement among the committee members on modus operandi of the screening.
The Senate subsequently postponed submission of the report and asked the committee to resolve all contending issues among members.
On Wednesday, shortly before the confirmation, another round of disagreement ensued between Mr Utazi and some members of the committee.
The members had claimed their input was never sought by the chairman before reaching his conclusion on the recommendation.
A member of the committee, Isah Misau (PDP-Bauchi), raised an objection alleging that he was not contacted for the meeting to screen Mr Olukoyede as directed by the Senate on Tuesday.
Dino Melaye, also a committee member, corroborated Mr Misau’s claim and accused the chairman of not complying with the resolution of the Senate.
But Mr Utazi denied their claims, saying that he had sent letters of invitation to all the members while some refused to attend because they went for oversight functions of other committees where they were also members.
He expressed concern that his colleagues were trying to hold the committee to ransom over alleged personal interest.
Mr Utazi urged the Senate not to set a bad precedent by allowing few individuals to slow down the work of the apex chamber out of selfishness.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, sought the confirmation of the committees’ recommendation of Mr Olukoyede’s appointment via a voice vote. A majority of the lawmakers affirmed the adoption of the report for his confirmation.
Mr Olukoyede, who hails from Ekiti State, until his new appointment, was the Chief of Staff to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter of September 10, nominated Mr Olukoyede as Secretary to the Commission.
Mr Utazi had, during Tuesday’s plenary, told the Senate that the nominee demonstrated competence and had sufficient experience to occupy the office for which he was nominated.
The Senate had on October 3, 2018, referred President Buhari’s letter of request for the confirmation of the nominee to the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, to screen and report back to the chamber for adoption.(NAN)
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