Civil society

The Human and Environmental Developmental Agenda (HEDA Resource Center) has given the national assembly a seven-day ultimatum to commence the confirmation process of nominees sent by the executive.

In a petition sent to Senate President Bukola Saraki, and signed by Olanrewaju Suraj, chairman of the resource centre, HEDA said the failure of the senate to screen the nominees is undermining governance and frustrating the ongoing fight against corruption.

HEDA, which is a non-governmental and non-partisan human rights and development organisation, said it is deeply worried and concerned over the “failure of the senate under Saraki to discharge its constitutional duty”.

“HEDA is giving the senate a seven-day grace period to commence the process of confirmation for the nominees, after which we will institute a legal action against the senate if it failed to discharge its statutory responsibility in that regard,” it said.

“Newspaper headlines are speculating political motive not unconnected with differences between the Senate and the Presidency is responsible forSenate’s deliberate withholding of a constitutional duty in the confirmation of about sixty nominees from the president.

“The senate under your leadership has delayed some of the nominations for a period of over six months. This has not only affected the confirmation but it has also continued to affect the smooth running of the affected federal government agencies who are still having problems clearing their nominees in the senate.

“The Daily Times of February 5, 2018 reported that the nominees of President Buhari are still having their fate hanging in the balance since the Senate continued to put their case in abeyance in alleged protest against the retention of Magu by Buhari as the acting chairman of the EFCC.

“The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has been incapacitated with the absence of an Acting or Substantive Chairman. That institution with enormous responsibility in the fight against corruption is on the long list of Government Agencies adversely impacted by the inexplicable constitutional dereliction on the path of your senate.

“Failure to screen and confirm the chairman designate is an utter disregard for your responsibility as provided in section 3(6) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act which states that: ‘the chairman and members of the commission who shall be persons of proven integrity shall be appointed by the President, upon confirmation by the senate and shall not begin to discharge the duties of their offices until they have declared their assets and liabilities as prescribed in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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