By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The Senate on Monday said that it never cleared Mr Okoi Obono-Obla as a nominee of President Buhari to be a non-executive commissioner of the Nigeria Communications Commission.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi, denied media reports, claiming the Senate had made a U-turn on the confirmation of Obono-Obla.
On the contrary, Sabi said the nominee was not confirmed as the votes and proceedings of the the day of his confirmation were not adopted.
He said that the senate wrongly stated that Obla was confirmed in its votes and proceedings but that the error was pointed out and corrected before the votes were adopted.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the nomination of Mr. Obla was never confirmed or voted for since no decision of the Senate is said to be approved if not adopted during the consideration of the Votes and Proceedings of the Senate at the next legislative day.
“The Senate also wishes to note that the business of the Senate can only be binding when the votes and proceedings have been adopted and approved without any objection.
“The implication of the directive by the Senate President to the Secretariat is that Senator Garbai’s observation or correction was correct and therefore the votes and proceedings should be amended to reflect the true situation.
“On that fateful day, “November 22, 2016, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Baba Kaka Garbai, objected to the alleged confirmation of the nominee, saying, , “My name is Senator Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai representing Borno Central Senatorial District. Mr, President, what is actually reported in the votes and proceedings is not a true reflection of what transpired on Thursday with regards to the confirmation of one of the commissioners under NCC, Chief Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla.
The decision then was a resounding Nay. So, because of that, it was a mistake. ”
“Responding to the observation made by Senator Garbai, the Senate President said, “secretariat take note”.
“The Senate hereby calls on those who are peddling these half truths to avail themselves of the proceedings of the Senate on the above stated dates to confirm if the nominee was rightly cleared by the Senate or not.
Mr Obono-Obla had incurred the wrath of the Senate earlier in 2016 when he told a Senate Committee on Judiciary that it had no right to invite the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
The Senate had then invited the AGF over the case of alleged forgery of the Senate rules book.
However, the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly matters (Senate) had intervened and apologised to the lawmakers for Obla’s ‘unruly behaviour’.