OrderPaperToday – The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, confirmed Rhoda Gumus as a National Commissioner (South South) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Gumus, a nominee from Bayelsa State, is alleged to be a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and confirmation of her appointment followed consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on INEC, under the leadership of Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano).
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA); a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), had petitioned Senate President Ahmad Lawan against Gumus nomination.
In the petition dated January 26 and acknowledged by the Senate President’s office, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, noted that he attached documents proving that Gumus is a card-carrying member of the ruling party.
However, Gaya, in laying the committee’s report said the nominees responded to questions from members of the committee satisfactorily, assuring the Senate of their integrity and non-partisanship. He further stated that no petition against Gumus was received.
“But through the media, after we had submitted our report, we were hearing news about a different person (Gumus). The committee only received a petition from Taraba elders against Alkali over incontinence,” he said.
“The elders wanted the North-East position to go to Taraba State, the members of the committee dismissed the petition because the president has the prerogative to pick a nominee from any state in the North-East,” he added.
Other nominees confirmed as National Commissioners for INEC are Mohammed Haruna (Niger, North Central), May Agbamuche-Mbu (Delta, South South), Ukeagu Kenneth Nnamdi (Abia, South East), and Sam Olumekun (Ondo, South West).
Another nominee confirmed as INEC National Commissioner was Major General A. B. Alkali (Rtd) – (Adamawa, North East) while Olaniyi Olaleye Ijalaye (Ondo – South West) was confirmed as a Resident Electoral Commissioner.
Lawan, in his congratulatory message to the confirmed nominees, noted that there is no reason for INEC not to perform credibly well, urging the nominees to live up to expectations.
Speaking on the confirmation, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) specifically commended President Buhari for nominating Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter dated December 2021, requested the Senate to confirm the seven nominees as National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioner for INEC.
He said that the request was made pursuant to paragraph 14 of Part (1) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended).