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Senate confirms eight RECs, rejects one

The Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of eight of the 12 remaining Resident Electoral Commissioners sent to it for legislative confirmation. 

Those confirmed were Asmau Sani Maikudi (Katsina), Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun (Ondo), Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi), Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto), Kasim Gana Geidam (Yobe), Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano), Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji (Oyo) and Samuel Egwu (Kogi) as RECs. 

At the plenary on Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission had laid its report on the 12 RECs nominees at the chamber. 

While presenting the report on Thursday, Chairman of the Committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif, said the panel rejected the nomination of Professor Mustapha Zubairu (Niger) as the nominee comes from the same local government area with the Federal Commissioner of INEC for North-Central. 

The panel also suspended confirmation of two other nominees, Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi) and Ahmad Bello Mahmud (Zamfara) for “further legislative considerations.” 

The confirmation process took a dramatic turn when the Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Abiodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti-South), raise a point of order to object to the confirmation of the Lagos nominee, Ambassador Rufus Oloruntoyin Akeju. 

She said, “Mr. President, I have a court ruling against him, saying he cannot be confirmed as Resident Electoral Commissioner. He went to appeal but his appeal was struck out. He appealed but lost it. The document is here with me.”