Senate appoints new INEC committee chairman

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

President of the Nigerian Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki has replaced the suspended former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume as the chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC with Senator Suleiman Nazif.

This was announced by the President at the resumed plenary on Tuesday. Senator Nazif who is of the ruling APC, represents the Bauchi South senatorial district, and he is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity.

Senator Ndume had on January 26 this year, two weeks after his removal as Senate Leader, being appointed as Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC by the Senate President being a ranking senator.

However, the Senate President, while forwarding names of the 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs nominated by President Muhamnadu Buhari to the Senate Committee on INEC for consideration, announced Senator Nazif as the new chairman of the committee to screen the nominees.

“Since committee on INEC in the Senate has no Chairman, Senator Suleiman Nazif you are now the chairman,” he said.

The Senate President added by directing the committee to work on the Presidential request for confirmation of the REC nominees and submit report within two weeks to the Senate in plenary.

Senator Ali Ndume was suspended by the Senate over allegations of purchase of SUV Range Rover vehicle with fake document by the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, as well as the alleged certificate scandal against Senator Dino Melaye based on recommendation by its committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

Relying on Senate standing orders 14 and 15, which deals with the privileges of senators,  Ndume had in the heat of media report of the alleged scandals, urged the Senate to thoroughly investigate them for the sake of its integrity.

But the committee in its report gave both Senators Saraki and Melaye clean bill of health over the allegations and called for the suspension of Ndume to which the Senate concurred to on March 29.

Omolayo.A