Saraki To TheWill: You Misled Your Readers On Senate Confirmation Powers - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Monday, April 1, 2019

Saraki To TheWill: You Misled Your Readers On Senate Confirmation Powers

  

  
           • Dr. Bukola Saraki

                                
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Monday faulted a publication by a San Francisco - based online news medium - TheWill,  which reported him out of context in his comments on the confirmation powers of the Senate during the ongoing Orientation Programme for the newly elected members of the forthcoming 9th Assembly.

Saraki had during the questions and answers session at the  event in Abuja on Sunday, said 
while responding to the question of a member who asked about what options exist, if the Senate did not confirm a nominee of the executive,  which he answered that the President could lobby the legislature or present someone else as a nominee.

But TheWill, according to the Senate President, misled the public, particularly its readers and quoted him out of context in its story  captioned: Magu’s Confirmation: Buhari is Free to Lobby or Send Replacement." 

Reacting through his Special Assistant on New Media,
Olu Onemola, in a letter to the Editor/Publisher of the platform, 
he accused the medium of deliberately failing to provide the appropriate context around the comments called on the online news platform to "correct the misleading impression that the story has created."

He stated: "Our attention has been drawn to a misleading story which was reported entirely out-of-context in  your platform, TheWill. 

“The story in question, entitled “Magu’s Confirmation: Buhari is Free to Lobby or Send Replacement,” failed to deliberately provide context around the Senate President’s comments on the role of confirmation of executive nominees. This is inappropriate, unfair and unethical as reporters and news platforms — whether online or offline — should always report things in their proper context in the interest of reporting the truth to the public.

“In order to enlighten the public and the publishers of The Will about what actually transpired at the event, it is necessary to state the following:

“During the Orientation Programme for Members-elect of the 9th National Assembly, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, in the first lecture of the day which was about the “Overview of the National Assembly Structure, Functions and Inter-Parliamentary Relations”, presented by Mr. M.A. Sani Omolori, the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA), with the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, serving as the Chairman of the session.

“In the course of his presentation, the CNA mentioned that one of the functions of the Senate is the confirmation of nominees from the Executive branch.

“During the question and answer session which followed, there were about three questions on confirmations. 

“One member asked that if the Senate refuses to confirm a nominee from the Executive, what are the options? 

“Another member specifically asked about the issue of Magu and asked why the Senate did not go to court after it did not confirm Magu, but Magu continued serving in an Acting capacity at the EFCC.

“When responding to the questions, the Clerk of the National Assembly stated that he was not in a position to answer ‘political questions’ and referred the response to the Chairman of the occasion, the Senate President. 

“In his response, the Senate President stated that according to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is clearly the role of the Senate to confirm nominees of the Executive. 

“While responding to the question of the member who asked about the options, the Senate President stated that the options are that the President can lobby the legislature or present someone else as a nominee.

“The Senate President also responded to the question about why the Senate did not go to court by clarifying that there are currently over 12 cases in the Nigerian courts about the role of the Senate in the confirmations process.

“With this explanation, it is our hope that you will deem it fit to correct the misleading impression that your story has created. Thank you for your time."

Jane Okafor, Abuja

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