The Senate may have drawn a battle line with the Presidency. Barely two weeks after it rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for $29.9 billion foreign loan saying the Presidency should furnish it with the expenditure plan, the Red Chamber has also rejected the list of non-career ambassadorial nominees.
The lawmakers resolved that the list of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees be sent back to the Presidency, citing controversies and petitions trailing the list as reason for its decision.
Following a motion moved on Tuesday by the Senate Leader Ali Ndume and seconded by the Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, the Senate agreed that the list should be sent back to President Buhari “for re-submission and re-jigging”.
Earlier, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, had stated that her committee could not commence screening of the non-career diplomats owing to the litany of petitions forwarded to the committee secretariat.
“We find it very difficult to commence screening for the Non-career Ambassadorial Nominees. We received over 250 petitions against some of the nominees,” she said.
In his ruling, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, said the list should be reverted to the Presidency, to readjust it before re-submitting to the Senate.
Buhari had sent a list containing 46 names of non-career ambassadorial nominees to the Senate for legislative approval.
Some notable names on the list are retired Justices of the Supreme Court, Justice George Oguntade; Senator Olorunimbe Mamora from Lagos State, former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Mrs. Paulen Tallen; former member of the House of Representatives, Usman Bugaje; and former Deputy Governor of Niger State, Ahmed Ibeto.
Others are: Dr. Uzoma Ememke (Abia State), Dr. Clifford Zirra (Adamawa), Maj.-Gen. Godwin Umo (retd.) (Akwa Ibom), Christopher Okeke (Anambra), Yusuf Tugar (Bauchi), Baba Madugu (Bauchi), Brig.-Gen. Stanley Diriyai (Bayelsa), Dr. Enyantu Ifenne (Benue), Mohammed Hayatuddeen (Borno) and Dr. Etubom Asuquo (Cross River).
Also on the list are Francis Efeduma (Delta), Jonah Odo (Ebonyi), Uyagwe Igbe (Edo), Ayodele Ayodeji (Ekiti), Maj.-Gen. Chris Eze (retd.)(Enugu), Suleiman Hassan (Gombe), Amin Muhammad Dalhatu (Jigawa), Muhammad Yaro (Kaduna), Deborah Iliya (Kaduna), Prof. D. Abdulkadir (Kano), Haruna Ungogo (Kano), Justice lsa Dodo (Katsina), Dr. Usman Bugaje (Katsina), Prof. Tijjani Bande (Kebbi), Prof Y. O. Aliu (Kogi) and Nuruddeen Mohamed (Kwara).
The nominees list equally included: Prof. Mohamed Yisa (Kwara), Modupe Irele (Lagos), Musa Ilu Muhammad (Nasarawa), Mohammad Ibeto (Niger), Ade Asekun (Ogun), Sola Iji (Ondo), Adegboyega Ogunwusi (Osun), Maj.-Gen. Ashimiyu Olaniyi (retd.) (Oyo), and Dr. Haruna Bawa Abdullahi (Plateau).
Orji Ngofa (Rivers), Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor (Rivers), Jamila Ahmadu-Suka (Sokoto), Kabiru Umar (Sokoto), Mustapha Jaji (Taraba), Goni Modu Zanna Bura (Yobe), Garba Gajam (Zamfara) and Cpt. Abdullahi Uba Garbasi (Zamfara) were also nominated.