Why Lagos Assembly dropped three commissioner-nominees

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The three commissioner-nominees, who were not confirmed on Monday by the Lagos State House of Assembly, were victims of high-wire politics, it was learnt.

Three nominees are: Prince Olanrewaju Sanusi, Obafemi George and Ms Adekemi Ajayi-Bembe.

A party source said the Assembly could not resist the pressure to deny them clearance, owning to the weight of allegations against them.

According to the source, the politics of confirmation overwhelmed the Assembly, adding that “the matter was beyond the control of the lawmakers”.

“It is now evident that nominations and screening were not final. Post-screening hurdles may arise from familiar and strange quarters,” the source stressed.

The source, who sympathised with the dropped nominees, said the governor may still represent them, if they overcome their challenges.

Asked to shed light on what he described as “high-wire politics”, the source said: “I suspected that the outcry against them arose from their people; from their constituencies where leaders and critical stakeholders, who cannot be ignored, kicked.

“I don’t think it was due to poor performance at the screening, although we heard that a particular nominee did not measure up during the exercise and the House Committee that screened them noted the non-display of competence.

“They were not confirmed because of politics of preference and rejection. The influence of powerful people, who didn’t want them, dwarfed those of their supporters in their respective constituencies. They did not play their cards well at home. It can happen because it is politics.”

But, the Speaker of the Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, also said the governor was at liberty to represent them to the House.

The Assembly, however, at plenary, confirmed 35 of 38 persons Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu nominated as commissioners and special advisers after the final screening by the whole House.

The nominees were cleared after the adoption of the recommendations of the ad hoc committee constituted by the lawmakers on the screening.

The committee’s report, which was read by the chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru, recommended that the nominees be confirmed by the whole House, according to section 192 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Obasa, however, cautioned those confirmed that the House would not hesitate to pass a vote of no confidence on any member of the state exco found wanting after they assume office.

The 38 nominees had before yesterday been screened by a 16-man ad hoc committee set up by the Assembly for the exercise.

They were, however, called individually on Monday to appear before the whole House at plenary to introduce themselves fully.

The speaker told the nominees that the House would not fail in its oversight to ensure that each performed his or her responsibility to the people.

The Speaker added that the House was not concerned about the academic qualifications and oratory prowess of any of the nominees, but readiness and commitment to serve the state.

“Even after the confirmation, we will continue to monitor whatever offices you are assigned to ensure value for public fund. We will continue to oversight your activities.

“We will not hesitate to pass vote of no confidence any time anyone is found wanting,” the Speaker said.

Those cleared as commissioners and special advisers are: Mr. Oladele Ajayi, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, Mr. Kabiru Abdullahi and Mr. Joe Igbokwe.

Others are Bonu Solomon Saanu, Lola Akande, Prince Anofi Elegushi, Solape Hammond, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, Shulamite Adebolu, Tokunbo Wahab., Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo, Folashade Adefisayo, Prof. Akin Abayomi, Dr. Idris Salako, Tunji Bello, Gbenga Omotoso, Toke Benson-Awoyinka and Mrs. Bolaji Dada

Included are: Lere Odusote, Dr. Frederick Oladeinde, Gbolahan Lawal, Dr. Wale Ahmed, Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), Hakeem Fahm and Ajibola Ponle.

Also confirmed are Aramide Adeyoye, Segun Dawodu, Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Sam Egube, Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, Mr. Tunbosun Alake and Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo.

The rejection and confirmation were done through a voice vote supervised by the Speaker.

However, the swearing-in and inauguration of the cleared nominees has been fixed for today at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja by 10a.m.

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