There was mild drama in the Senate yesterday as outage disrupted the screening of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The committee was on the 7th nominee, Baba Ahmed Jidda from Borno State when the light went off at exactly 12:13 pm. The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, which was conducting the exercise for the 46 nominees, had to continue with light from different gadgets like phones and rechargeable lamps, to illuminate the room before power was restored at exactly 1:06pm.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, in her welcome address, said the screening exercise was in line with the provision of Section 171, Sub section 4 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended), which vested the power of confirmation of persons to be appointed as ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The section states: “An appointment to the Office of Ambassador, High Commissioner or other Principal Representative of Nigeria abroad shall not have effect unless the appointment is confirmed by the Senate.”
According to her, the Senate, being sensitive to the genuine plea from Nigerians at its plenary on the November 9, 2016, unanimously resolved to return the list to President Muhammadu Buhari for scrutiny and representation.
The earlier list of the 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees sent to the Senate for screening by the president on November 1, 2016, was greeted with protests from various quarters.