The Senate Committee on Power have dismissed a petition against Dr. Yusuf Ali, who was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari, to represent the North-central geopolitical zone on the board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The panel noted that the petition against the first class, 30 year-old PhD graduate of electrical-electronic engineering who studied at both the Cambridge and Manchester universities, lacked merit.
Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam said during the screening of four nominees as commissioners for NERC, yesterday in Abuja, that Ali had successfully defended himself.
The Senate President had on February 9, this year, forwarded President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the confirmation of the four nominees as commissioners for the commission to the Committee on Power.
While screening the 30-year old Kwara nominee Suswam said there was a petition against him.
The Senator said, “The petition says you are not from Kwara. And so as a senator from North Central, I am very worried that you are nominated to represent North Central, the people that know said you are not from north central.
“You seem to be highly educated as a young man. You have a PhD under 30 years from Cambridge University, one of the best universities.
“You have a distinction in nuclear energy from the same university; you also have a first class in electrical-electronic engineering first class in Manchester University.
“Qualification wise we should have just asked you to take a bow and go. But we are here beyond qualification. The constitution says regarding conduct, so we now question you a little bit based on qualification.”
Responding, Ali said he was an indigene of the state.
He said, “Indeed my father is from Osun, Ife South Local Government Area. My family immigrated to Kwara in 1983. I and my siblings we were all born in Kwara. We have lived there all through our lives.
“In 1999, the process to make us indigenes of Kwara commenced and we have the documentation in the file attached. That was granted in 2002. All my public records in terms of the 2006 Census, my driver licence, my NIN, my PVC all have me been from Kwara,” he noted.
Contributing, Vice Chairman of the Committee Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe said, “we are seeing here a document from Ilorin West Local Government, confirmation of Kwara indigene.”
He said, “It was dated September 2002.
In order words, you didn’t envisage that you were going to face the Senate when this was done.
“I don’t think we should waste time over where he comes from, he is from Ilorin West,” Abaribe said.
In his ruling, Suswam said, “we want Nigerians to know that the constitution gives Nigerians the latitude.”
He said, “As a Senate that represents the people, I don’t think we will support such a petition because the young man who is 30 who does not know any other place other than where he was born, is from that place.
“I don’t know why we have become so conscientised about where someone comes from. What matters is the content you have and how well you can represent this country.
“As far as we are concerned, that is a very frivolous petition and we hereby dismiss the petition on ground of