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Owasanoye and eight other members of the ICPC board were confirmed during Thursday’s Senate plenary session, sixteen months after their nomination was announced by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on August 1, 2017. Osinbajo, at the time, was the Acting President as President Muhammadu Buhari had travelled out of the country on medical leave.
Their confirmation followed the adoption of the report presented by the Senate Committee on Anti-corruption headed by Chukwuka Utazi.
The ICPC board members that were confirmed on Thursday include: Obiora Igwedebia (Anambra, South East), Okolo Titus (Enugu, South-East), Grace Chinda (Delta, South-South), Olubukola Balogun (Lagos, South-West), Abdullahi Maikano Saidu (Niger, North-Central), Yahaya Umar Dauda (Nassarawa, North-Central), Hannatu Muhammed (Jigawa, North-West), and Adams Bello (Katsina, North-West).
In his presentation, Utazi said the nominees possess the experience, integrity and professionalism to effectively carry out the responsibility for which they had been nominated.
It took this long for the ICPC board members to be confirmed because as at the time of their nomination, the Senate was having a face-off with the executive arm of government and in protest, had resolved to step down the confirmation of any other presidential nominees.
When the nominees for the board of ICPC was first announced in August 2017, an investigation by The ICIR showed that the list contained the names of two individuals – Maimuna Aliyu and Sa’ad Alanamu – who were also being investigated by the same commission.
Following the report, Osinbajo withdrew the two nominees. Both of them are now facing separate corruption charges filed against them by the ICPC.
Owasanoye, who graduated as a lawyer at the age of 21 and was appointed a professor of law at 38, is the fourth substantive chairman of the ICPC.
He takes over from Ekpo Nta whose tenure as ICPC Chairman came to an end in 2017. Between early 2017 when Nta was removed and now, the commission has bee headed by acting chairmen.
However, unlike the ICPC, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, remains in an acting capacity as he is yet to be confirmed by the Senate.