Senate rejects Jonathan’s request for new FIRS boss

Senate yesterday threw out President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for confirmation of a fresh nominee, Mrs M’fon Akpan, from Akwa Ibom State as chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Consideration of Akpan’s nomination as listed on the order paper ran into troubled waters immediately the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, attempted to persuade the senators on the issue and he attempted to step down the request for another legislative day. He sensed danger that many of the senators were already prepared to reject her nomination.
Ambushing Ndoma-Egba’s motion that the item be stepped down for another legislative day, Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara Central) opposed it.
Marafa had earlier signalled to second the motion, but as he was permitted to do so by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, he distanced himself from it, citing order 45 to support his position.
Though Marafa was ruled out since the order he cited could not sustain his position, his objection to step down the item for another legislative day was supported by majority of the senators at the session when it was finally put to voice vote, forcing the Senate Leader to represent the item for consideration proper.
Ndoma-Egba, while representing the motion, moved that the Senate should consider the presidential request by sending the nominee to the relevant Senate Committee for screening, but when put to voice vote the nays far outnumbered the yeas and so killed the motion.
Indication that the Senate might have sealed the hope of Akpan’s emergence as FIRS boss yesterday was stated by chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Eyinnaya Abaribe, who said his colleagues had rejected the nominee by their action.
Abaribe said, “It shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the Senate has come to a conclusion during the current session except upon a substantive motion for rescission.”

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