The Senate will today conclude the process of confirming the Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as President of the Appeal Court and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), respectively.
The process was kick-started yesterday when the Senate resolved through a voice vote to receive both Emefiele and Bulkachuwa at today’s “committee of the whole” for both screening and confirmation.
Yesterday’s proceedings started with the adoption of the agenda on the Order Paper as presented by Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, that the Senate would consider the request of President Goodluck Jonathan for the confirmation of Bulkachuwa in accordance with Section 238(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
It was followed by another resolution that the parliament would also consider Emefiele’s appointments in accordance with Section 81 (1) and (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act 2007.
However, the Senate changed its initial plan to screen Mr. Adebayo Adekoya Adelabu as Deputy Governor-designate of CBN along with Emefiele by the Committee of Whole.
The names of both Emefiele and Adelabu were sent to the Senate on February 20.
The Senate had in its initial Order Paper for yesterday’s proceedings obtained by THISDAY on Monday stated that both Emefiele and Adelabu would be screened by Committee of the Whole.
But the decision was altered yesterday as Senate resolved to refer Adelabu to Senate Committee on Banking and Other Financial Institutions for screening.
The committee was therefore mandated to carry out the screening and make recommendation for his confirmation or otherwise to the upper chamber for final consideration.
While speaking on Senate’s preparedness to confirm Bulkachuwa and Emefiele today, Senate’s spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the decision was in observance of the provisions of the constitution.
Abaribe, who said the proceedings would be transmitted live on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), added that the exercise would also present Nigerians with the opportunity to witness epochal events on dispensation of justice as well as management of the economy in the country.
“I want to confirm that tomorrow, in line with constitutional provisions and the Senate rules, we will do the screening and confirmation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s requests for two persons – Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as President of the Court of Appeal and Mr. Godwin Emefiele as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Both events will be aired live on the Nigerian Television Authority. I am very certain that it will give Nigerians the opportunity to witness first hand, the screening of the two individuals that are very vital to both the dispensation of justice in Nigeria and management of our economy,” Abaribe said.
On whether Emefiele’s screening, coming about three months before the expiration of the tenure of suspended CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was normal, Abaribe said: “In fact, good sense means that we should screen somebody and go through all the processes so that on the date that the tenure of the incumbent ends, he could handover to his successor.
“So we should not allow for lacuna in the process and that is why we are taking this process to make sure that there is no gap at all and of course, three months give us enough time for us to go through this process in such a way that whatever Nigerians want as the new CBN governor, they will get it and will resume when the tenure of the current occupant ends.”