The Senate on Wednesday finally confirmed the appointment of Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, as the Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The confirmation was however not without drama.
Sharp disagreement between the Chairman, Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Chukwuka Utazi and some members of the Committee, trailed the confirmation.
Two members of the committee, Senators Isa Hamman Misau and Dino Melaye, claimed that the screening of Olukoyede was done without their input.
The duo insisted that they should be told if there were hidden interests in the screening of the nominee.
The situation almost degenerated into verbal altercation between Utazi and Misau but for Senate President Bukola Saraki’s intervention.
Olukoyede, from Ekiti State, is the Chief of Staff to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
He was nominated as Secretary to the Commission by President Buhari through a letter dated September 10, 2018 and addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The Senate on October 3, 2018, referred President Buhari’s request for the confirmation of the nominee to the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, for screening.
Utazi (Enugu North), on Tuesday, presented the report of the Committee on the screening of the nominee to the Senate for adoption.
He told the Senate that Olukoyede satisfied the Committee and demonstrated competence and sufficient experience to occupy the office for which he was nominated.
Senator Misau (Bauchi Central) opposed the confirmation of Olukoyede, claiming that most members of the Committee were not carried along in the screening exercise.
Utazi explained that he invited all members of the Committee to the screening of the nominee but only three of them attended.
He also noted that the three senators out of the eight members formed quorum because the Senate rule stipulates that one-third of members shall form quorum.
Saraki asked the Committee members to meet and discuss the report to avoid creating divergent positions on the confirmation exercise.
When the report was presented again yesterday for consideration and adoption, Senator Misau raised further objections.
The Bauchi Central Senator claimed that he was not contacted for the meeting as directed by the Senate on Tuesday.
Another member of the Committee, Senator Dino Melaye, supported Misau.
Melaye said that Utazi did not comply with the resolution of the Senate to hold a meeting of members of the committee to discuss the report.
Utazi, who expressed anger over the accusation by members of the committee, told the Senate that he sent letters of invitation to all members.
He said some members of the committee did not attend the meeting because they went for oversight functions of other committees.
He said that some Committee members were holding the Senate to ransom due their selfish interest.
Utazi urged the Senate not to set a bad precedence by allowing few individuals to slow down the work of the chamber out of their selfishness.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, explained that once a committee had turned in its report, the report become the property of the Senate.
Ekweremadu said that after debate of such report, the presiding officer put the question to allow senators vote the way they wanted.
Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan also said that the committee met the rules of the Senate.
A voice vote agreed that the report should be considered.
Another voice vote overwhelmingly supported the confirmation of Olukoyede as the EFCC secretary.
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