Published On: Fri, May 19th, 2017

Senate bars Ag. DG Lottery Commission from operating

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Christiana Ekpa

Senate has forbidden the acting Director General of National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lanre Gbajabiamila, from operating the office pending when he has been screened and confirmed by the Senate.
The lawmakers also expressed displeasure over his appointment as the commission’s DG without following the required referral to the senate for consideration and confirmation as provided in the 1999 Constitution.
This was sequel to the motion moved by Senator Dino Melay, in which he alleged that the appointment of Lottery Regulatory Commission ‘s DG was without the required due process.
Raising a point of Order 43 of the Senate standing rule, Melaye condemned the appointment, quoting Section 8(1) of the National Lottery Act 2015 which says “there shall be for the commission, a director-general whom shall be appointed by the President subject to the confirmation of the senate.”
He said the senate should not allow the appointment to stand because Nigeria must be governed by constitutionalism and rule of law.
“It is sad to note that a new Director General of the National Lottery Commission has not only been appointed by the President but has resumed office without being confirmed.
“He has started signing documents and carrying out functions of the office of the Director General of the Commission without referral or confirmation by the senate.
“We have a list of the likes of the DG of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) waiting for Senate’s confirmation. The executive arm of government cannot choose which law to obey or which not to obey.
“Why will there be selective respect for the Rule of Law. The Rule of Law must be respected. It is safer to be loyal to the people of Nigeria than to be afraid of the role of EFCC or the executive.
“We must stand on the truth and we must communicate this misbehaviour and rascality to those concerned”, he said.
Consequently, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in his remarks, said since the issues raised as regards the appointment are very weighty and bothered on the constitution, the Rule of Law and our democracy, the Leader of the Senate should find out whether the said DG had actually started acting in office without confirmation and report back very urgently.
“We have to check if truly whether this gentleman has decided on his own to disregard the law and resume and if that is what he has done, I am sure when that attention has been communicated to him, he will stop that nonsense and wait for confirmation.
“The Leader of the Senate should confirm whether what Dino has said is the truth. The law on such appointment is very clear and we must ensure that we adhere to it very strictly”, Saraki said.

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