The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has asked the Red Chamber’s screening panel to stop action that could lead to the clearance of the nomination of Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar as Director General (DG) of National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
President Muhammadu Buhari had, in a letter, asked the Red Chamber to confirm the nomination of Dahir-Umar and five others for appointment in PENCOM.
Though her nomination had generated controversy especially among opposition federal lawmakers, Senate President Ahmad Lawan referred the names of all the nominees to the Senate Committee on Establishment for screening.
In a petition addressed to the committee’s chairman, Ibrahim Shekarau, and dated October 14, 2020, Abaribe said Dahir-Umar’s nomination was in flagrant breach of the Act, particularly the section that deals with replacement of the DG when the need arises.
Abaribe cited section 20 (1) and section 21 (1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, which state that, “in the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint a replacement from the geopolitical zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure”.
He noted that the nomination of Mrs. Dahir-Umar from the northeast by President Buhari was not correct and has breached the Pension Act and the Federal Character Commission.
“Accordingly, and in line with the provisions of the law, in this case, the “National Pension Commission Act 2014″, the nominee is automatically disqualified from holding the office of DG PENCOM,” he said.
He said, “the immediate past DG, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, had her five-year tenure truncated two years before the end of her term and as such having come from the South-East geo-political zone, it behooves on the President to nominate her replacement from the same zone to complete the term in obedience to the provision of the PENSION ACT.”
Abaribe, therefore, urged the committee to reject the nomination of Dahir-Umar for the top PENCOM job.
“Doing so will no doubt strengthen our laws and the institution of the National Assembly,” he added.