As the Senate resumes plenary today, one thing that will confront it is series of petitions over alleged manipulation in the nomination of Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine as Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. David Babachir Lawal.
Daily Sun gathered that the Senate had listed Ayine’s nomination on its Order Paper on December 15, 2016, for consideration, but skipped the item at the last minute. No reasons were given for the action.
In one of the petitions to the Senate by the Network Against Impunity (NAI), copies of which were circulated in Abuja, yesterday, the group said Ayine’s name was not one of the three candidates submitted to the SGF for consideration as AGF.
The petition, dated December 23, 2016, and signed by the National Coordinator of the NAI, Yakubu Adagba, alleged that the original list of shortlisted candidates was substituted by the SGF before the nomination got to the Senate.
“The original list of three shortlisted candidates forwarded to the SGF by the FCSC was jettisoned by the SGF who substituted the list and presented a different list of nominees to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Therefore, Ayine’s confirmation request, pending before the Senate, is nothing but a cash-and-carry deal, packaged by the SGF and about to be rubber-stamped by the Senate,” he said.
Another non-governmental organisation, One-Nigeria-One-Nation Advocacy Initiative also opposed the nomination of Ayine as the AGF, saying it negates the federal character principle.
In a petition addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and signed by the groups’ Coordinator, Omotunde Adewale, the group said the appointment of Ayine, who hails from Cross Rivers State, was made in total disregard to the Constitution, since the Head of Service of Nigeria (HoS), the Chief of Naval Staff and the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) “are all from the same state.”
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requires that the principle of ‘federal character’ be applied in the distribution of federal government appointments across the 36 states of Nigeria,” the group insisted.