Senate reverses Monday Tom’s confirmation as REC

  • Senate reverses Akwa Ibom’s Monday Tom confirmation as REC

    * Okays Kafarati as FHC CJ

    The Senate has withdrawn its confirmation of Mr Monday Udo Tom as Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission to represent Akwa Ibom State.

    The reversal came about 24 hours after Tom was confirmed by the Senate along with three others, Festus Okoye (Federal Commissioner/South-East), Attahiru Garba Madami (REC/Niger State) and Ahmed Bello Mahmud (REC/Zamfara State).

    The upper chamber of the National Assembly reversed itself on the confirmation based on the request by Senator Bassey Akpan (Akwa Ibom North-East), who said there was a pending petition against the nominee which the Committee on INEC failed to address in its report that was adopted on Wednesday.

    The committee had recommended that Tom should be confirmed while it proposed Mahmud for non-confirmation for the third time based on a separate petition against him.

    Senate, however, overruled the committee on Mahmud.

    On Thursday, Akpan said, “I wish to draw the attention of this Senate to the fact that I tried to raise a point of order yesterday (Wednesday) but I was ruled out of order by Mr President.

    “I wish to draw the attention of this Senate to Order 53(6) regarding the screening and confirmation of Elder Monday Udo Tom who is the REC-nominee from Akwa Ibom State. I wish to draw the attention of the Committee on INEC to the fact that I and the committee had received a petition against the nominee, which was received on the February 5, 2018.

    “The report of the committee that was laid before the Senate did not take a cognisance of the fact that there is a petition against the nominee. There is no reference whatsoever to the fact that a petition that was submitted and copied to all the senators representing Akwa Ibom State was against this committee. This same petition was also copied to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

    “I, therefore, wish to seek the authority of this Senate that the confirmation of the nominee from Akwa Ibom State be stepped down and referred to the committee for proper work, and maybe thereafter report back to the Senate. I am not against the nominee but I believe that since there is a petition against him, it should be reflected in the committee’s report.”

    President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, put Akpan’s prayer to a voice vote and it was unanimously granted. He referred the matter to the committee “for further legislative work.”