Senate probes resumption of Human Rights Boss without confirmation

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja


The Nigerian Senate has mandated its Committee on Judiciary Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged resumption of the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission, {NHRC}, Mr. Anthony Ojukwu, without Senate confirmation.

Senate decision follows a Point of Order from Senator Dino Melaye who alerted his colleagues on how the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubarka Mallami allegedly ordered Mr. Ojukwu to resume office in contravention of the Civil Service Rules and the Act establishing the commission.

Senator Melaye considers AGF’s action as an affront on the authority of the Senate, pointing out that it is not the first time the AGF would be daring the Senate, calling on Senate to henceforth disqualify appointees who resume without Senate confirmation.

In a resolution at wdnesday’s plenary, Senate mandated it’s Committee on Justice, Human Rights and Legal Matters chaired by Senator David Umaru to quickly look into the matter with a view to verifying the authenticity or otherwise of the allegations against the AGF.

Senate also warned against what it descibed as “a growing penchant on the part of appointees of government to resume office without prerequisite senate confirmation.”

It therefore asks the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to ensure such practice does not happen again.

Voice of Nigeria recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had in December 2017, written to the Senate seeking confirmation for the nomination of Anthony Ojukwu as Executive Secretary of NHRC.

On February 8, 2018, the AGF in a letter titled, Approval To Resume Duty as Acting Executive Secretary of the NHRC, asked Mr. Ojukwu to resume without Senate approval.