Controversy Trails legality of NDIC Chairman Appointed by Buhari

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Fresh controversies seem to be surrounding the appointment of a new Board Chairman for the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) in the dying days of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

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Sources discovers that in a single month (May 2023) several actions were taking including the confirmation of appointment, swearing in and and a new law that repealled such an appointment of a chairman from outside the public service.

The NDIC board chairman, Dr Abdul Hakeem Mobolaji, was appointed by President Buhari alongside six other board members on January 9, 2023 who sent their names to the Senate on the 22nd of March and their appointments were confirmed by the lawmakers on May 9.

Mobolaji was a former legislator and commissioner in Lagos State

The board members include Professor Osita Ogbu to represent South East, Umar Gambo Jibrin (North Central), Mohammed Attahiru Haruna (North East), Yasmine Zaabatt Amin Dalhatu (North West), Simon Ogie (South-South) and Abimbola Olashore (South West).

The Chairman and other Board members were therefore sworn-in by the then Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday, May 25.

Surprisingly, the then President Buhari who was accused of taking a lot of controversial decisions in the last days of his reign had on May 26 signed into law the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation Bill, 2023. It was an act of the National Assembly which repeals the NDIC Act No.16 of 2006 and enact NDIC Act of 2023.

The amendment bill was passed by the Senate on the 28th of March, 2023 and by the House of Representatives on the 2nd of May, 2023.

PRNigeria observes that the second schedule of the amendment law which was signed by President Buhari on May 26, 2023 and immediately gazetted, only the the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance can chair the governing board of the NDIC.

The law provides as follows: “The governing body of the Corporation shall be a Board of Directors (in this Act referred to as “the Board”).(2) The Board shall consist of—(a) the Chairman who shall be the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry responsible for finance; (b) the Managing Director; (c) two Executive Directors; (d) one representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria who shall be the Director of Banking Supervision; and (e) the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Barely two weeks after the exit of President Buhari, some stakeholders are calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to undo the appointment, saying it is illegal.

The agitators are saying that President Buhari himself signed an amendment to the NDIC establishment law which repealled and rendered the appointment unlawful.

One of the stakeholders in the financial sector of the public service who doesn’t want his name mentioned told PRNigeria that the NDIC has already commenced the implementation of the new Act.

He said “The NDIC Board of Directors which was inaugurated on the 25th of May, 2023 were nominated under the provisions of the NDIC Act, 2006; which was subsequently repealed and renacted as the new NDIC Act, 2023 on the 26th of May, 2023 by Mr. President. The new Act has clear guidelines and requirements for the composition and membership of the Board which is at variance with those contained in the old act. None of the independent members of the Board inaugurated on the 25th of May qualifies for membership under the new NDIC Act, 2023, which has already been gazetted.”

Lawyers are however arguing that it is fundamental in the profession for laws and rules not to have retroactive effect.

An Abuja based constitutional lawyer, Yunus AbdulSalam argued that since the bill was signed into law on May 26 and the appointments were approved by the Senate on May 9, the appointments are valid.

Abdulsalam said: “The newly amended Act can only operate in future as it cannot nullify or annul an appointment made under the law before the amendment of the NDIC ACT. This is in consonance with with section 6 (1) (c) of the Interpretation Act which provides that the repeal of an enactment shall not “affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability accrued or incurred under the enactment.”

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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