The Senate has fumed at one of the 23 persons appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to head federal agencies, Lanre Gbajabiamila, for allegedly resuming without awaiting the confirmation of the upper legislative chamber.
Coming under Order 43 – Personal Explanation – of the Senate Rule Book, the lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye pointed out that the man appointed to head Nigeria’s lottery regulation commission assumed office without Senate confirmation in line with the law establishing the body.
The appointments contained in a statement issued by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on April 14, were made with immediate effect, thus brushing aside referral to the Senate for confirmation.
But Melaye, in his point of order, raised what he termed as “selective respect for the of law” and negation of the promise made by “my party, APC”.
He held that 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, Gbajabiamila had resumed office, following the April 14 announcement without waiting for his confirmation by the lawmakers.
He noted that the Executive 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.
“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,” the lawmaker said.
Responding, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki said, “he will stop that nonsense. He should wait until his confirmation by the Senate”.
Noting that “these are weighty issues”, the Senate President ruled that the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan should “take it up and investigate”.