Mrs Habibat Lawal who is the Acting Secretary to Government of the Federation(SGF) apologised to the Senate for allowing the Director-General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, to assume office without its confirmation.
Ahmed Lawan who is the Leader of the Senate in a Point-of-Order at Thursday’s plenary, stated that the SGF made the apology through him to the Senate, while he was investigating the irregularity.
On Wednesday, the Senate criticised the assumption of office by Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila in acting capacity at the commission without confirmation by the chamber. After that, the lawmakers ordered Lawan to investigate the matter.
The senate leader said that his investigation confirmed that Gbajabiamila had actually assumed office, and without approval by the Upper Chamber.
“I investigated the issue. The nominee for the office of the DG of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission actually assumed office.”
“I think he was not properly advised and therefore assumed office without going through the stipulated due process.”
“I believe that it was an error and there was a genuine appeal from the executive that no such thing will ever happen again.”
“I advised the SGF that the nominee should not be seen within the vicinity of the office of the SGF until he is confirmed and an appointment letter is given to him.”
Sen. George Sekibo stated that in spite of the fact that the explanation by the leader was clear, the matter was complex and should not come under personal explanation but a motion.
“This matter is a complex matter and according to the point-of-order, it should not be a controversial matter, but you are bringing a major controversial matter.”
“Somebody is flagrantly violating the Constitution of Nigeria, Section 5(1b) and you just bring it under personal explanation and he finished talking and sat down as if nothing has happened.”
“It is a major issue. I am saying for caution, next time issues of this nature should not come under personal explanation.”
“They should look for other orders to bring the matter so that it is open to us for debate.”
Dr Bukola Saraki who is the President of the Senate stated that the leader had done a very thorough job in that he had responded promptly.”
“First of all, to establish that the point raised by Sen. Melaye was factual and that he got the assurances that this kind of thing must be stamped out and does not occur again.”
“The nominee has erred, probably misguided but definitely, he must not be seen reporting for duty in that area.”
“For nominees and the executive, they must respect our laws and processes and even if a nominee is unaware, somebody must guide him.”