A man appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to head Nigeria’s lottery regulation commission assumed office without Senate confirmation, in line with the law establishing the body, Dino Melaye said on Wednesday, prompting Senate’s investigation.
Lanre Gbajabiamila was one of the 23 persons appointed to head various federal agencies by Mr. Buhari, through an announcement made by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on April 14
According to the announcement, the appointments were with immediate effect, brushing aside referral to the Senate for confirmation.
Mr. Melaye, APC-Kogi, came under Order 43 – Personal Explanation – of the Senate Rules to raise what he described as “selective respect for the of law” and negation of the promise made by “my party, APC”.
Whereas Section 8(1) of the Nigerian Lottery Regulation Commission says the President shall appoint the Director-General subject to the confirmation of the Senate, Mr. Melaye said Mr. Gbajabiamila had resumed office, following the April 14 announcement without waiting for his confirmation by the lawmakers.
He noted that the Executive branch had sought consideration and confirmation of appointments of others, including Resident Electoral Commissioners and Central Bank of Nigeria board members; but wondered why the law on the headship of the lottery commission would be disregarded.
He said “what President Muhammadu Buhari and my party, APC, promised Nigeria was absolute respect for rule of law and to combat corruption.
“This is not a banana republic. Executive cannot choose which law to obey and which one to disobey.”
In his response, Senate President Bukola Saraki said, “these are weighty issues”.
He ruled that the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, “take it up and investigate”.
“He will stop that nonsense…when it is communicated to him,” said Mr. Saraki. “He should wait until his confirmation by the Senate.”
Mr. Gbajabiamila could not be reached immediately. But his LinkedIn profile shows he has resumed as DG of the commission since April.
He previously headed the lottery board in Lagos State.
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