It was gathered that the Senate yesterday rejected the nominations of a former Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Ezekiel Yisa Benjamin and Saidu Abubakar as non-executive Commissioners of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Benjamin’s rejection was based on the report by the Chairman of the Committee on Communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji. The report recommended his rejection, alongside Abubakar’s.
The committee, while recommending Benjamin’s rejection, said his background as a trained nurse “will not put him in good stead to effectively cope with the dynamics of the communications sector if his nomination is confirmed.”
However, Abubakar got into trouble with the Senate during his screening on October 18 this year, when the committee confronted him with the photographs of his frequent protests and calls that the Senate be scrapped at the gate of National Assembly.
During the screening, the committee asked him if he still believed in his calls. But Abubakar dared the panrl and re-echoed his position that the existence of the Senate was not justifiable, pointing out that the Upper Chamber was only wasting the nation’s enormous resources by its existence.
In his report, Nnaji said Abubakar’s response to questions asked by the committee portrayed him as “a candidate who is not prepared for the demands of office such as required of a non-executive commissioner on the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission.”
The report said: “Mr. 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 of the commission’s board.”
Acting on the committee’s recommendations, the Senate dropped Abubakar and Benjamin, but confirmed other nominees. Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye was confirmed as Chairman of the NCC.
Also confirmed were Sunday Dare (Executive Commissioner), Ifeanyi Ararume (Non-executive Commissioner), Clement Omeiza Baiye (Non-Executive Commissioner) and Chief Okoi Obono Obla (Non-Executive Commissioner).
The Senate also confirmed May Agbamuche-Mbu (Delta) as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner. Also confirmed were Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu (Anambra), Ahmed Mu’azu (Gombe), Mohammed Kudu Haruna (Niger), Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola (Oyo) and Abubakar Nahuche (Zamfara).
The Senate also confirmed the appointments of Dauda Bage and Paul Galinje as Supreme Court justices.