Just as the floor of the Senate recovered from the heated argument on the Naira redesign policy, another drama ensued at the plenary on Wednesday when members of the ad hoc committee on oil theft disowned the report presented by its chairman, Senator Akpan Bassey, for consideration and adoption.
The Senate had, on April 14, 2022, constituted a 13-member Ad Hoc Committee on Oil Lifting, Theft and the Impact on Petroleum Production and Oil Revenues under the chairmanship of Senator Bassey, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Upstream).
Seven months after the assignment, the committee presented its report for Senate’s consideration and adoption in plenary on Wednesday but ran into troubled waters with disowning of it by some of its members.
First to make an observation on the non-signing of the report was the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided by saying only six out of 13 members signed the report presented to him.
Omo-Agege’s observation triggered open confessions by some members of the committee who disowned the report.
Specifically, Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger East) openly told the Senate that the six signatures attached to the report were taken from the attendance list taken at the first sitting of the committee in April.
Musa said, “Mr President and distinguished colleagues, only three and not six members of the committee signed the report.
“As a member, I attended the first meeting along with five other senators whose signatures were attached to the report.
“After the first meeting, I was not invited to any other meeting and I did not attend any, making this report before us today a very strange one to me.”
Another member of the committee, the current vice presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Senator Kashim Shettima (APC Borno Central), said as a member of the committee, he was never invited to any meeting and could not say anything on the report being presented to the Senate for consideration and approval.
Chagrined by the submissions, the Deputy Senate President called Senator George Sekibo as a member of the committee to proffer solutions to the problem at hand.
Sekibo accordingly suggested that the report should be withdrawn for consensus among committee members between now and Monday next week for representation on Tuesday in plenary.
Omo-Agege consequently put the suggestion to voice votes with the majority of the senators concurring with it.
Members of the committee as constituted in April were: Senators Akpan Bassey (Chairman), Yusuf Yusuf, Solomon Adeola, Kabiru Gaya, Mohammed Aliero, George Sekibo, Gabriel Suswam, Kashim Shettima, Aliyu Abdullahi, Ali Ndume, Stella Oduah, Sani Musa and Ibrahim Gobir.