Senate receives committee report, set to pass 2020 Appropriation

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The Nigerian Senate is now set to pass the -N-10.33 trillion 2020 Appropriations Bill, following it’s receipt of the report from the committee on Wednesday.
President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, gave the assurance after the budget was laid by the chairman, Committee on Appropriations, Senator Barau Jibrin.
Senator Lawan said he will ensure that copies of the Bill are distributed among the lawmakers for immediate passage when they reconvene on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the Senate also on Wednesday, rejected the appointment of Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC nominee, Raheem Muideen Olalekan.
The rejection of the nominee followed the debate on the report of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on the confirmation of appointments as RECs, submitted  by its chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya.
The appointment of Umar Mukhtar Gajiram from Borno State and Dr. Aiaiibo Sinikiem Johnson from Bayelsa State, were however, confirmed by the lawmakers.
A mild drama had ensued on November 5, during the screening of the nominees by the committee members where the Osun nominee admitted that he remained a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
I am a member of APC. I am a member of APC and I contested for local government chairmanship in 2013. In 2015, I left politics and moved on to the University of Ibadan to go and study Psychology.
I obtained the card then when I had the intention of contesting for election. On the question on if I was a Director General of a contestant, Yes I was DG of a contestant in 2017,” he emphasised.
A member of the Senate screening panel, Opeyemi Bamidele had during the screening pointed out that the committee cannot be seen to be endorsing a violation of the Nigerian constitution which clearly provides that occupant of the office of the INEC Commissioner must be apolitical.
However, some senators, including the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, put efforts to save the nominee but the efforts failed.
President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has however, urged the Committee on INEC to expedite legislative action on the issue surrounding the rejection of the nominee and also urged the committee to work harmoniously with the commission for the country to move forward.