Senate says days of executive-legislature rift over

The Senate has resolved that it will no longer engage in face-offs with the Executive arm of government.


Senate President Bukola Saraki stated this on Wednesday, when lawmakers considered a motion on the “The illegal extension of the tenure of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)”, sponsored by Emmanuel Paulker (PDP, Bayelsa State).


Saraki, who did not allow debate on the motion, said: “We are not here to always attack the executive. The days of always attacking the Executive are over. We must not be involved in acts of balderdash.


“I suggest that we handle it amicably and allow the relevant committees to meet with the new SGF and look at the issue.”


Both arms of government have been enmeshed in a frosty relationship, due to the refusal of the Executive to sack the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu.


At the moment, the Senate is yet to confirm executive nominees to fill vacant positions in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and National Pension Commission, among others.


Saraki was however silent on the pending confirmations before the Senate.


Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, in a brief intervention, before the Senate President ruled on the issue, pleaded with his colleagues to allow the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to resolve the issue.


Paulker, in the motion, said the Board of NDDC, headed by Victor Ndoma-Egba, was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to complete the tenure of the last board, whose tenure will expire next month.


He said the immediate-past acting SGF, Habiba Muda Lawal, extended the tenure of the board, contrary to the earlier terms of agreement in the engagement letters handed to the board members.


Quoting a section of the NDDC Act, Paulker said: “Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the board, it shall be filled by the appointment of a successor to hold office for the remainder of the term of his predecessor, so however, that the successor shall represent the same interest and shall be appointed by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, subject to the confirmation of the Senate, in consultation with the House of Representatives.


“The board headed by Victor Ndoma Egba, SAN was appointed by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to replace the one headed by Senator Bassey Henshaw.


“Section 5 (3) of the Act dictates that the Board headed by Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, SAN serves out the remainder of the term of the board chaired by Senator Bassey Henshaw will terminate in December 2017.


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