Senate probes Falana’s petition on alleged lopsided appointments at NHRC

The Senate on Wednesday directed its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate a petition before it from a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana.

Falana, in the petition, asked the Senate to investigate the alleged lopsided appointments made into the board of the National Human Rights Commission by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).

The Senior lawyer in the petition, submitted by the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, alleged that the North-East geopolitical zone has no single person on the board while the North-West zone has about four nominees on the board with three nominated from Kebbi State alone.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the Ministry of Justice, headed by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), from Kebbi State, is the supervising ministry in charge of the NHRC.

The Senate is currently working on the list of the nominees sent to it from Buhari, penultimate week.

The Senate Spokesman, Senator Ajibola Basiru had at the screening of the nominees last week protested against the alleged lopsided appointments.

Basiru had expressed his dissatisfaction with the nomination during the screening of the nominees who appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters chaired by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

However, Bamidele, who is leading the panel made up of lawyers, assured the aggrieved members that the issue raised would be addressed at the Committee meeting before the submission of the report to the Senate next week.

It will be recalled that Buhari on the 24th of March forwarded the nominees to the Senate.

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Buhari said the appointments were made pursuant to section 3 (2) and (3) of the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act 2010, with particular reference to submission (3) paragraph (a) and (b).

The nominees, who had already been screened are, Salamatu Suleiman (Chairman); Beatrice Jedy-Agba (Member); Ambassador Umar Zainab (Member); Dafe Adesida(Member); Joseph Mmamel (Member); Ahmad Fingillia (Member); Kemi Okeyanda (Member); Abubakar Mohammed (member); Femi Okeowo(member); Sunny Daniel (member) Barr. Agabaidu Jideani (member); Nella Rabbana (SAN) (member); Azubikwe Nwakwenta (member); Jamila Isah(member); Idayat Hassan (member); and Anthony Ojukwu Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission).

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