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Again, Buhari’s nominee shuns Senate’s screening

He has turned down the appointment —Senate Committee

A nominee of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor Akintunde Akinwande, has, again, turned down his nomination as chairman of the board.

The United States-based professor had shunned Senate screening a month ago, prompting the Senate Committee on Power, headed by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, to suspend the screening of members of the board.

At the resumed hearing  of the committee on Monday, the nominee, again, shunned the screening prompting a member of the committee, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, to declare that Professor Akinwande had lost the privilege given to him to serve the nation.

It was also gathered that the US-based professor communicated to the committee and informed the members that he was not available for the assignment.

“The nominee (Professor Akinwande) has exhausted the privilege given him by Mr President. He has also lost the privilege given to him by the committee by deferring the screening of the board for one month. He has finally exhausted the opportunity to serve this country,” Senator Hunkuyi said at the screening session on Monday.

A month ago when Akinwande refused to turn up for the screening, the Presidency had denied the reports that he had declined the offer, claiming that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT) lecturer was perfecting his papers for leave of absence.

It was confirmed that Akinwande sent a text message to a member of the committee to indicate that he was not available for the job.

But Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, however, tried to persuade the committee not to foreclose Akiwande’s opportunity.

He told the committee that he would make further consultations with the president.

“I do pray that the committee note that the nominee did not appear just today. Let it be a suspended matter. I will communicate with the president and get more information about him and get back,” he said.

His remarks were, however, promptly rebuffed by the Senate Committee chairman, Senator Abaribe, who stated that the committee’s decision would be communicated to the Senate at plenary.

Hunkuyi, however,  interjected and said: “But if somebody says I will not be able to make it, what does he imply?”