Nigerian Senate

The Senate has lifted its embargo on the confirmation of executive appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Punch learnt that the embargo, which lasted over one year, was lifted at a closed-door session held by the lawmakers on October 10, 2018.

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The embargo was placed in protest against the retention of Ibrahim Magu as acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite his non-confirmation by the Senate.

The senators were also angered by a statement credited to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who was quoted as saying that he agreed with the activist lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), that Section 171 of the Constitution empowered President Muhammadu Buhari to make certain appointments without recourse to the legislature for approval.

Speaking with Punch on Sunday, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator from the South-East geopolitical zone said the lawmakers resumed from their annual recess to lift the embargo.

He said: “We have lifted that (the embargo). We did it (placed the embargo) based on certain premises and after a while, those issues were resolved. You can see that we are clearing the backlogs and all the outstanding screenings and confirmations. We are doing them. So, it has been lifted.”

When asked why there was no resolution vacating the earlier resolution placing the embargo, the lawmaker said it was done behind closed doors.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, could not be reached on the telephone on Monday to speak on the development. Calls made to his telephone did not connect.

Several calls made to the Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, who had on several occasions asked the Senate leadership to lift the embargo, were not picked.

Reliable sources had disclosed that both the APC and PDP caucuses, who had been at daggers drawn over who controls the Senate, had resolved to suspend the infighting as both parties had failed some of their members in the chamber.