The Senate, yesterday, confirmed the appointment of three non-career ambassadorial nominees and ignored the report of the Department of State Service, DSS, not to confirm the nomination of 82-year-old Sylvanus Nsofor. The upper legislative chamber confirmed the appointment of the nominees after it considered a report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. A Department of State Service, DSS, report had suggested that Sylvanus Nsofor, an 82-year old nominee from Imo State, was unfit to hold office owing to his age, but the Senate ignored the report and confirmed his appointment.
The Senate had twice rejected the appointment of Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, citing a DSS report. Although, the upper legislative chamber had rejected Nsofor’s appointment, President Muhammadu Buhari re-nominated him. Other nominees, who are now ambassadors-designate are Joseph Iji from Ondo State and Yusuf Hinna from Gombe State. Earlier, Monsurat Sunmonu, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Nsofor performed well when he appeared before the committee a second time.
Sunmonu explained that though the Department of State Service, DSS, in its report, said Nsofor would not be able to perform his duties due to his advanced age, the committee resolved to give him a chance to serve. She said: “He was rejected and the presidency sent his name back to reconsider. Hon Justice Nsofor is 82 years old – as opposed to being sarcastic and frail when he first appeared before this committee for screening.
“The nominee answered all questions appropriately and his appearance was better than the previous one.” The DSS report still maintained that he will not be able to perform the duty of an officer due to his advanced age. However, the committee believes that he should not be penalised based on age, since he was able to demonstrate the necessary skills during the exercise. “The DSS report did not state any criminal report against this candidate.
Hence the committee resolved to give him a chance. The committee is satisfied with his second appearance and performance.” She said Iji responded well when he appeared before the committee and Hinna was very frank and elaborately responded to questions during the screening exercise.