The Senate has on Wednesday, confirmed the nomination of Anthony Ayine as the Auditor-General of the Federation.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had last year nominated Mr. Ayine to fill the post currently held by Florence Anyanwu in acting capacity.
Although Mr. Ayine has some petitions against him, part of which are that he is the cousin of the current Head of Service and had been a local government auditor, petitions Mrs. Binta Garba, APC-Adamawa raised in order to scuttle his confirmation, Ayine was however confirmed following the presentation of the report on his screening by the chairman of the committee on public accounts, Andy Uba.
Uba gave reasons for Ayine’s recommendation and subsequent confirmation as being a man whose competence cannot be disputed.
Mrs. Garba claimed further objected his confirmation saying, given his position as ‘local government auditor’, he would be placed at Grade Level (GL) 14 after conversion to federal service, whereas the law specifies GL 17 as requirement for the office of Auditor-General of the Federation.
But the Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio countered the Adamawa lawmaker, pointing the petition on which she based her claims as misleading.
Akpabio said Mr. Ayine was a “state’s auditor-general for all local government areas, not just one local government.”
He said that by virtue of Mr. Ayine’s position, he was on a level similar to a permanent secretary; therefore, met the GL 17 requirement.
Mr. Akpabio was backed by the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, and George Sekibo, PDP-Rivers.
They argued that Mr. Ayine had gone through the constitutional process, including writing and passing required test before he was nominated by the president.
Consequently, the nomination received unanimous support when Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session in place of Bukola Saraki whose corruption trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal resumed on Wednesday, asked if there was any senator opposed to the confirmation of Mr. Ayine.
Mr. Ayine hails from Cross Rivers State, whose service he joined in 1988 as Auditor II.
The last substantive Auditor-General, Samuel Ukura, was also appointed from outside the federal service.
Mr. Ukura had been in the service of Benue State, his home state, before he was appointed by late Umaru Yar’Adua.