The acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Dr. Habibat Lawan apologized for the oversight and pleaded for leniency in the appointment of the Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NRLC), Adolphus Ekpe without approval from the Senate.
In a point of order on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, Senator Dino Melaye accused President Muhammadu Buhari of ‘executive rascality and violation of the rule of law.’
Melaye noted that Ekpe was selected by the executive as Director General of the NLRC without the approval of the Senate.
But speaking at plenary on Thursday, May 18, deputy Senate leader, Bala Na’Allah said Ekpe was wrongly advised by some individuals.
“I think he was misadvised and therefore assumed office without going through the stipulated process,” Na’Allah said.
The lawmaker said after due consultation with relevant stakeholders, the acting SGF assured the Senate that such mistake would not repeat itself.
“Yesterday, the Senate by way of resolution mandated me to investigate an issue, a case of a nominee who is yet to be screened and confirmed by the Senate and who is yet to receive an appointment letter from the office of the secretary to the government of the federation but that nominee assumed office,” Na’Allah said.
“I investigated the issue very thoroughly yesterday and I stand here to report what actually happened. The nominee for the office the director-general of the national lottery commission actually assumed office.
“I spoke with all those who should know better including the acting secretary to the government of the federation and the conclusion is that he erred because probably he did not get the correct briefing that he should have waited until the due process and diligence were completed.
“I believe that was an error and there was a genuine appeal from the executive that no such thing would ever happen again. I advised the SGF that the nominee should not be seen within the vicinity of the office of the DG until he is confirmed and an appointment letter is given to him.
“I also want to use this opportunity to advise the executive that such a thing must not be allowed to repeat itself again and also for nominees who may be so eager to start work that they should tarry a while until due diligence is followed to its logical conclusion,” the lawmaker added.
Senate President Bukola Saraki noted that despite Ekpe’s zeal to work, the nominee should have awaited the confirmation of the Senate before resuming office.
“Those eager to resume office must follow due process. We must respect our laws and processes,” Saraki said.