No official notification suspending commissioners-nominees screening — Niger govt

The Niger State Government has said that it has not received any letter from the State Assembly suspending the screening of commissioner nominees.

The Chief Press Secretary of the Governor, Bologi Ibrahim, reacting to the allegation on Sunday that the lawmakers suspended the screening of the nominees over alleged inequity, including having few Christians on the list said, the State Assembly has not communicated that decision to the government.

His words, “If I don’t receive a formal letter from the Assembly, there’s nothing we can do. You know, today is Sunday.  The thing started in the morning. So, maybe by tomorrow morning, we are going to receive a formal letter from the Assembly. If there’s no suspension they’re going to start screening tomorrow.

“If the screening does not start tomorrow it’s another thing. The government is still waiting for the formal letter from the Assembly about the issue. Then, it will now react to it. From what you are saying they need more than eight nominees to make it 25 per cent of Christian nominees.”

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However, the spokesman of the Speaker of the State Assembly, John Adams said there was no suspension of the screening of the nominees.

According to him, the lawmakers only received the list on Thursday after plenary, adding that the House had to convene an emergency meeting after learning that the governor sent the list to beat the 60 days deadline.

“The lawmakers did not suspend the screening, there was nothing like that. We were in the House that day. You know Friday was supposed to be the deadline constitutionally for submission of the commissioners’ list.

“The House of Assembly sat on Thursday, I was even in that plenary. They waited for the list they didn’t see it so, they adjourned the plenary to the next Legislative date. The speaker was even on his way to the village. around 4 o’clock when we got a message that they had summoned an emergency meeting because the governor has now sent the list down.

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“After they finished sitting on that day, they had to call members hurriedly and reconvened around 5 o’clock that day and within 20 minutes they just adjourned sitting till the next Legislative sitting. So no mention was made of the list whatsoever. They only read the list to just fulfill the constitutional dictates that the governor must submit the names of commissioner nominees to meet the deadline,” he said.

He added that Thursday was the last sitting of the House, adding that the list was quickly presented in the evening because lawmakers know that there will be no sitting on Friday.

He noted that the lawmakers did not suspend the screening as claimed. “For the lawmakers to suspend something like that, it must be done on the floor of the house,” he said.

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