THE Senate, on Tuesday, rejected four nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari to the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
It, however, confirmed the nomination of the former Senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, as chairman of the board and Nsima Ekere as Managing Director.
The Senate, which approved the report of the Committee on Niger Delta, headed by Senator Peter Nwaboshi, at the plenary, rejected the nominees for Ondo State, Chief Olatokunbo Ajasin; Abia, Mr Donatus Eyinnah and the Niger Delta nominee, Mr Igo Weli, on the grounds that they were not from oil producing communities, in accordance with the NDDC Act.
The fourth nominee, Senator Osita Izunaso (Imo), the national organising secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier written the committee, seeking to withdraw his nomination on the same ground.
The Senate, however, confirmed Adjogbe Ajenakevwe Samuel, Mene Ienyie Derek, Frank Samuel George, Brambaifa Nelson; Sylvester Effefiom Nsa; Ogaga Ifowodo; Uwuilekhue Saturday; Harry Iboroma Dabibi; Benard Banfa; Yahaya Mohammed and Mustapha Dankadai.
Two other nominees, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse and Abdul-Kazeem Bayero from the Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Ministry of Environment respectively were also confirmed as members of the board but they would cease to be members once transferred from the respective ministries.
The Senate Committee, which screened the nominees last week, had pointedly asked them whether they were indigenes of oil producing communities, a major component of the NDDC Act.
The committee also obtained written briefs from the office of Surveyor-General of the Federation and the oil producing companies operating in the different states of the Niger Delta, to ease its assignment.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, had, during the debate on the report, noted that Section 2(1)(b) of the NDDC Act stipulated that nominees to the board of the NDDC must be indigenes of oil producing communities.
The Senate brushed aside arguments from the chief whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye, who noted that the Act did not make it mandatory for nominees to come from oil bearing communities, but from oil producing states.
NDDC Committee chairman, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, told the Senate that in the case of Tokunbo Ajasin, people from oil bearing Ilaje communities Ondo State stormed the Senate with 11 loaded commuter buses to protest.-