Sunday Aborisade, Abuja
The Senate on Wednesday, rejected the nomination of Mr. Raheem Muideen, as the Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Osun State.
There was a mild drama at the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday when the Osun State Commissioner nominee for the agency, Raheem Muideen, admitted that he remained a member of the All Progressives Congress.
Muideen had created a scene while being screened by the Senate Committee on INEC on November 5 when he confirmed being a member of the All Progressives Congress.
Presenting the report of his committee on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Senate panel on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya, said Muideen’s nomination was not confirmed because he could not defend the allegations of bias levelled against him by a petitioner.
Attempts by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo -Agege, to save the Osun nominee failed.
He argued that the petitioner did not show up at the Senate panel to defend his petition, hence Muideen should not be disqualified as a result of that.
The Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the committee stood down the confirmation of the Osun nominee because he confirmed during the screening that he was a card-carrying member of the APC.
He said the panel only deferred Muideen’s confirmation pending when he would clear himself of the allegation.
The Senate therefore approved the recommendations of the INEC panel and confirmed the appointment of other nominees
They include Umar Mukhtar Gajiram (Borno), Dr. Aiaiibo Sinikiem Johnson (Bayelsa).
Muideen had appeared before the Senate Committee on INEC for his confirmation screening after his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The 46-year-old academic told the committee that he was still a bonafide member of the APC.
His confession, therefore, confirmed a petition against his nomination by one Oyebade Adebisi, who alleged that he had openly supported a particular political party which negates part of the constitutional criteria for INEC Commissioner.
A member of the Senate screening panel, Opeyemi Bamidele, pointed out that the committee cannot be seen to be endorsing a violation of the Nigerian constitutional which clearly provides that occupant of the office of the INEC Commissioner must be apolitical.