By Cecilia Ijuo
The Senate on Wednesday rejected the nomination of Justice Sylvanus Nsofor and Mr. Jacob Igbekele Daodu as non-career ambassadors.
Forty-five other nominees presented for approval by President Muhammadu Buhari in January, however passed the Senate test.
Eighty two year old Nsofor from Imo State and Igbekele Daodu from Ondo State, were rejected by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor, retired as a Justice of Court of Appeal in March 2005, after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 70.
He had served as a judge for 28 years with about 13 years spent in the Court of Appeal.
The committee, headed by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu (APC Oyo Central), screened the nominees.
Senator Sunmonu, while presenting the report, said Justice Nsofor looked fragile and tired while his responses to the issues raised during screening were either not answered or devoid of details.
She added that Daodu did not respond to issues raised satisfactorily, apart from the negative security report against him by the Department of State Services, DSS.
“During the screening exercise the nominee’s answers did not have direct bearing to the issues raised and the answers were not satisfactory to the committee’s expectation.
“Besides, there is an adverse report on the nominee’s suitability for appointment as ambassador”, she said.
Daodu, from Akoko area of Ondo State is an architect by profession and also a former commissioner for physical planning in the state. He lacked the support of the APC executive in the state, who accused him of anti-party activities in the last governorship election, won by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Those who were approved include: Uzoma Emenike (Abia), Aminu Iyawa (Adamawa), Maj Gen Godwin Umoh Rtd (Akwa Ibom), Christopher Okeke (Anambra), Yusuf Maitama Tuggar (Bauchi), Baba Madugu (Bauchi), Stanley Diriyai (Bayelsa).
Others are Stephen Ugba (Benue) Baba Ahmad Jidda (Borno) Etubom Asuquo (Cross River), Frank Efeduma (Delta) Jonah Odo (Ebonyi), and Uyagwe Igbe from Edo State Eniola Ajayi (Ekiti), Chris Eze (Enugu), Suleiman Hassan (Gombe).
Others include Justice Sylvanus Nsofor (Imo), Amin Dalhatu (Jigawa), Ahmed Bamilli and Deborah Iliya (both from Kaduna), Prof D. Abdulkadir(Kano) and Haruna Ungogo (Kano), Justice Isa Dodo(Katsina) and Mohammadu Rimi Barade (Katsina) and Tijani Bande from Kebbi State.
The other nominees who scaled the Senate hurdle are: Prof Y. Aliu (Kogi) Nurudeen Mohammed and Prof Mohammed Yisa (both from Kwara), Justice George Adesola Oguntade and Modupe Irele (both from Lagos), Musa Mohammad (Nasarawa), Ahmed Musa Ibeto (Niger), Suzanne Aderonke Folarin (Ogun), Jacob Igbekele Daodu (Ondo), Afolahan Adeyemi (Osun), and Maj Gen Ashimiyu Olaniyi from Oyo State.
James Dmika and Haruna Abdullahi (both from Plateau), Orji Ngofa (Rivers), Sahabi Isa Gada and Kabir Umar (both from Sokoto) Jika Ado (Taraba), Goni Zanna Bura (Yobe), Garba Gajam and Capt Bala Mohammad Mairiga (both from Zamfara) and Habbiss Ibrahim Ugbada from the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, were also approved by the Senate.
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki commended the committee for a job well done.
He called on the nominees to be good ambassadors of Nigeria in any country to which they are posted.
He further called on the Federal Government to ensure the payment of salary arrears of the Nigerian Embassy staff across the globe in order to project the country’s image positively.