The Acting Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mrs Habibat Lawal, has apologised to the Nigerian Senate for letting the Director-General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, assume office without Senate’s approval.
Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, in a Point-of-Order during Thursday’s plenary, said that Mrs. Lawal had tendered the apology through him to the Senate, while he was investigating the “irregularity’’.
The upper chamber had directed Lawan to probe why Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila assumed office as director general of the lottery commission.
The senate leader said that his investigation affirmed that Gbajabiamila had actually assumed office without approval by the Upper Chamber.
He said that though the acting Director-General, was nominated for the position, he was not screened or confirmed, and had not received an appointment letter from SGF’s office, but had assumed office.
“I investigated the issue. The nominee for the office of the D-G of the National Lottery regulatory Commission actually assumed office.
“I think he was not properly advised and therefore assumed office without going through the stipulated due process,’’ he said.
According to Lawan, I have spoken to all those who should know better, including the acting SGF.
He said that the executive had concluded that Gbajabiamila had erred because probably, he did not get the correct briefing that he should have waited until due process and diligence were completed.
“I believe that it was an error and there was a genuine appeal from the executive that no such thing will ever happen again.
“I advised the SGF that the nominee should not be seen within the vicinity of the office of the SGF until he is confirmed and an appointment letter is given to him,’’ he said.
In reply to the happening, Sen. George Sekibo from said that in spite of the fact that the explanation by the leader was clear, the matter was complex and should not come under personal explanation but a motion.
“This matter is a complex matter and according to the point-of-order, it should not be a controversial matter, but you are bringing a major controversial matter.
“Somebody is flagrantly violating the Constitution of Nigeria, Section 5(1b) and you just bring it under personal explanation and he finished talking and sat down as if nothing has happened.
“It is a major issue. I am saying for caution, next time issues of this nature should not come under personal explanation.
“They should look for other orders to bring the matter so that it is open to us for debate,” he said.