Senate confirms nominee rejected in 2016, four others

Nigerian senate chambers where senators attend plenary
Nigerian senate chambers

The Senate has confirmed Aliyu Abubakar as a non-executive commissioner for the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Mr Abubakar was one of the five nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari as announced by Senate President Ahmad Lawan on the Senate’s floor penultimate Tuesday.

He was first nominated for the same position but was rejected by the Senate over shady academic records under the Bukola Saraki-led eight Senate in 2016.

The former chairman of the Committee on Communications, Gilbert Nnaji, had said Mr Abubakar’s response to the questions and issues raised by the Committee unveils him as a candidate who is not prepared for the demands of office such as required Commissioners of the NCC.

“Mr. Aliyu Saidu Abubakar could not produce any credible educational certificate for the Committee to verify at the screening. He obviously lacks the professional and educational disciplines provided in Section 7 (1)(a-h) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 which stipulates the qualification for the Commission’s Board,” he told the Senate in 2016.

He was, however, confirmed on Thursday after the Senate adopted the report of the Ad-Hoc committee on the Screening of Presidential Nominees. The report was resented by the chairman of the committee, Teslim Kolawole.

Mr Kolawole recommended that he and other nominees be confirmed.

Moves against the confirmation of Mr Abubakar were denied by Mr Lawan.

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Mr Lawan simply said the committee had screened the nominees on behalf of the Senate and, hence, the adoption of the recommendation of the committee.

“We have to rely on our committees,” he said.

Other nominees confirmed by the Senate are Uba A.S Maska as executive commissioner, Millionaire Abowei as non-executive commissioner and Abdulazeez Salman as non-executive commissioner – all of the NCC.

The lawmakers also confirmed Habu Galadima as the Substantive Director-General of the National Insitute for Policy and Strategic Studies.

The minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, noted that the position for the South-East is vacant and admonished President Muhammadu Buhari to send a nominee to fill the position.

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