Why Senate rejected 82-yr-old Justice Nsofor as ambassador-nominee

The Senate on Thursday rejected the nomination of 82-year-old Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor from Imo State as a non-career ambassador over his refusal to respond appropriately to questions posed to him by the committee members.

The nominee from Ondo State, Mr. Jacob Igbekele Daodu, was also rejected based on the report of the Department of State Services (DSS), which indicted him for corruption.

The lawmakers however confirmed the nomination of 45 others as non-career ambassadors, following the adoption of the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Proffering insight into why the two nominees were rejected, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central), emphasised that Nsofor was not rejected because of his age.

She however noted that he had walked into the screening arena looking frail and had to be supported as he was unable to walk by himself.

“His responses to the issues raised were either not answered or devoid of details and mostly satirical. For instance, we asked him to recite the national anthem, and he said we should have sent him a syllabus. A member of the committee asked him if he knew about IT. He asked what is IT, and I told him Information Technology. He said, ‘its for your age, not mine’.

“Also, when asked if he was not too old, he said we should go and ask Mugabe who is still walking. He has shown his temperament,” she added.

The DSS report on Daodu described him as deceitful and someone who indulged in corrupt practices when he was Chairman of the Ondo State Road Maintenance Agency, Sunmonu disclosed.

“Although the nominee has acquired experience from his previous work places, his responses during the screening exercise did not have direct bearing to the issues raised and were not satisfactory to the committee’s expectation,” reading from the committee’s report.

Senate President Bukola Saraki congratulated the confirmed nominees, but urged the executive arm of government to take note of comments on the performances of the nominees.

He also urged that all outstanding liabilities accrued to Nigeria’s foreign missions be settled to pave the way for the smooth transition of the new ambassadors to wherever they are posted.

Those confirmed as non-career ambassadors are Uzoma Emenike (Abia), Aminu Iyawa (Adamawa), Godwin Umo (Akwa Ibom), Christopher Okeke (Anambra), Yusuf Tuggar (Bauchi), Baba Magudu (Bauchi), Stanley Diriyai (Bayelsa), Stephen Ugba (Benue), Baba Ahmed Jidda (Borno), Etubom Asuquo (Cross River), Frank Ofeduma (Delta), Jonah Odo (Ebonyi) and Uyagwe Igbe (Edo).

Others are Eniola Ajayi (Ekiti), Chris Eze (Enugu), Sulieman Hassan (Gombe), Aminu Dalhatu (Jigawa), Ahmed Bamalli (Kaduna), Deborah Iliya (Kaduna), D. Abdulkadir (Kano), Haruna Ungogo (Kano), Isa Dodo (Katsina), Mohammed Rimi (Katsina), Tijani Bande (Kebbi), Y. O. Aliu (Kogi), Nurudeen Mohammed (Kwara), Mohammed Yisa (Kwara), Adesola Oguntade (Lagos), Modupe Irele (Lagos), Musa Ilu Mohammed (Nasarawa), Ahmed Ibeto (Niger), Susanne Aderonke Folarin (Ogun), Afolahan Adeyemi (Osun), Ashimiyu Olaniyi (Oyo), and James Dimka (Plateau).

The confirmed nominees also include Haruna Abdullahi (Plateau), Orji Ngofa (Rivers), Sahabi Isa Gada (Sokoto), Kabir Umar (Sokoto), Hassan Jika Ardo (Taraba), Goni Zanna Bura (Yobe), Garba Gajam (Zamfara), Bala Mohammad Mairiga (Zamfara), Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada (FCT) and Adeyinka Asekun (Ogun).

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