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Ministers: Senate Gets Second Batch Nominees


Senate yesterday received 15 additional ministerial nominees from President Muhammadu Buhari, bring­ing the total nominees to 36.

This is even as the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privi­leges and Public Petitions handling the petitions written against former Gover­nor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Ameachi, and for­mer Special Adviser to the Secretary General of United Nations on MDGs, Amina Ibrahim, by concerned pe­titioners from Rivers and Kaduna states, respectively, gave the duo subtle clearance

for screening by the Senate along with 19 other nomi­nees earlier forwarded to the Senate by Buhari.

The additional list of ministerial nominees, which was received by the Senate, was confirmed by the Senior Spe­cial Assistant to the President

on National Assembly Matters (Sen­ate), Senator Ita Enang, to journalists in the evening.

According to Enang, the list, like the earlier one given to the Sen­ate President, Senator Abubakar Bukoka Saraki, on the last day of September, was jointly delivered to Saraki by him along with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Hon. Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila, about 4:24 p.m.

The Special Adviser to the Sen­ate President on Media and Pub­licity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also confirmed receipt of the list by his boss at the stated time.

However, both Enang and Olani- yonu, who refused to disclose the content of the list, said that it was contained in a sealed envelope, which would only be opened by the Senate President when pre­senting it before the Senate today (Tuesday).

Meanwhile, as the Senate starts the screening of the 21 nominees it earlier received, strong indica­tions emerged yesterday that both Amaechi and Ibrahim would be among the nominees that would be screened, despite the petitions against them.

This was sequel to the subtle clear­ance given to them by the Commit­tee, after going through petitions against them yesterday.

Specifically, the Senator Sam Anyanwu-led Committee ruled that since issues the raised in the petition against Amaechi by the Integrity Group from Rivers State on alleged N72 billion fraud are already sub­jects of litigation in court, the Com­mittee, in line with the Senate rule, cannot treat the petition.

“Having considered the written submission of Amaechi’s lawyers to this Committee in respect of peti­tions against him by Integrity Group from Rivers State and in line with Senate rule 41(7), which states that the Senate shall not deliberate on any matter in which there is judi­cial remedy in court, this committee hereby suspend further deliberation on the petition,” he said.

For Ibrahim, it was an outright clearance by the Committee since the petition against her by the South­ern Kaduna Coalition was predicat­ed on assumption that her nomina­tion by the President was for Kaduna State and not Gombe, her natural state of origin.

Ibrahim, while facing the Com­mittee, said she was from Gombe State, and wondered why the peti­tioners from Kaduna State ate alleg­ing that her ministerial slot was for Kaduna State.

The chief petitioner, Barrister James Kanyip, while responding to questions from the Committee members, admitted that their peti­tion against Ibrahim was solely driven by their assumption that she  was been nominated to fill the slot of Kaduna State and not her state of origin, Gombe.

A submission that made the Com­mittee members to probe him fur­ther by asking him the source of his information confirming that Ibrahim was a nominee from Kaduna and not Gombe, her state of origin.

Kanyip’s response to the question by disclosing the social media as his source of information to that effect, further drew more embarrassment to him, especially from the Deputy

Chairman of the Committee, Sena­tor Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who said he was very worried that a lawyer of Kanyip’s status could rely on in­formation from social media upon which he predicated such a weighty petition.


– Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja


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