The Nigerian Senate Wednesday stood down the confirmation of Olalekan Raheem as a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
These were part of the recommendations of the Senate Committee on INEC which screened the nominees after President Muhammadu Buhari sought the Senate’s approval of their confirmation on October 29.
A petition was written against Raheem alleging him of being a party cardholder of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Raheem, however, denied the allegation stating that he used to be a member of the APC but not anymore.
“I am a member of APC and I contested for the chairmanship of Osogbo local government in 2013. In 2015, I moved on to go and study Psychology in University of Ibadan. I had the card then when I had the intention of contesting,” Raheem said.
“I was a DG of a contestant in 2017. I was part of the campaign. I am no longer a card-carrying member since I left to go back to school. I have not been attending political function again.”
Raheem wondered if there was any law that stops him from supporting a candidate of his choice.
But after deliberation by the lawmakers during the Wednesday plenary, the senate resolved to stand down Raheem’s confirmation for further inputs
The Senate, however, confirmed the two other nominees Umar Gajiram(Borno) and Aialiibo Johnson (Bayelsa).
Read the Senate Report On INEC.
Report of the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the confirmation of appointment as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of INEC by Senator Kabiru Gaya in respect of:
1. Umar Mukhtar Gajiram (Borno);
2. Dr. Aiaiibo Sinikiem Johnson (Bayelsa); and
3. Raheem Muideen Olalekan (Osun).
Senator Alkali Saidu seconded that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the confirmation of appointment as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of INEC.
Senator Kabiru Gaya laid and presented the report.
“The confirmation of Raheem Muideen Olalekan should be stood down for further inputs.”- Senator Kabiru Gaya.
“The petitioner did not come forward even when invited to come and prove what he has alleged and it will only be fair not to confirm the nominee from osun state, Raheem Muideen Olalekan.”- Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
“In the course of the interaction with the nominee, he admitted he is a card carrying member of a political party. What the Committee has done is to stand it down to allow the Senate confirm other nominees.”- Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
“We are under obligation to respect the conclusion of the Committee. I urge my colleagues to respect the decision of the Committee.”- Senator Bala Na’allah.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the consideration of the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of INEC.
Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.
Umar Mukhtar Gajiram (Borno) was confirmed as a Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC.
Dr. Aiaiibo Sinikiem Johnson (Bayelsa) was confirmed as a Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC.
The confirmation of Raheem Muideen Olalekan (Osun) was stood down for further legislative action.
“I will urge the Committee on INEC to judiciously undertake legislative actions that will confirm other nominees that are asked to wait. INEC and National Assembly have to work together to ensure that we continue to refine our electoral services.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.
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