- Senate Set To Screen Amaechi Tuesday ‘Receives Petition Against Sokoto Nominee
Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday formally communicated to President Muhammadu Buhari the confirmation of18 ministerial nominees on Wednesday by the Senate
In what appeared to be like seeking for favour from above, the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday formally communicated to President Muhammadu Buhari the confirmation of 18 ministerial nominees on Wednesday by the Senate.
The UNION reports that those confirmed were among those who were forwarded to the Upper Legislative Chamber on September 30 for screening and consideration for ministerial positions.
Also, the Senate yesterday confirmed that it would screen the former Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, next Tuesday.
This is even as the Senate received a petition against Ms. Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto State, by the Coalition of Women from the State.
Saraki’s communication was contained in an official letter that was sent through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Legislative Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.
In an emailed statement issued by Saraki’s Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki informed the President that the Senate had found the 18 nominees, who had gone through its confirmation hearing suitable to occupy the office of ministers of the Federal Republic as provided for in Section 147(2) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.
“The nominees, whose appointments by the President have been confirmed, are: Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Bello Danbazau, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Hajiya Amina Ibrahim Mohammed, Eng. Suleiman Adamu and Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril.
“Others are Mr. Babatunde Raji Fasho- la (SAN), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Abuba- kar Malami (SAN), Dr. (Sen.) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, Sen. Aishat Jummai Al-Hassan, Barr. Solomon Dalong, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and Sen. Hadi Sirika,” it read.
The UNION reports that this would be the first time a Senate President is transmitting such a communication to the nation’s No. 1 since 1999.
In the past, it is the exclusive duty of the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA) to do so.
In a related development, the Senate’s spokesman, Senator Dino Melaye, said that the report on the petition against Amaechi would be presented by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on Tuesday next week, after which, Amaechi would be screened by the Senate.
Melaye posited that since the position of the Committee on petitions against Amaechi is based on Senate rule of not deliberating on matters already in court, the Senate would adopt it and screen Amaechi.
“The Committee has a one line report that the matter is in court and that in compliance with our laid down rules and regulations that any case that is undergoing judicial remedy cannot be discussed and that we have distanced ourselves from it and the report will be presented on Tuesday by the grace of God and I assure Nigerians that Former Governor Rotimi Amaechi by the grace of God, will be screened on Tuesday,” he said.
He added that further screening and confirmation of the remaining ministerial nominees have also been slated for Tuesday next week.
“We are going to screen nine of them on Tuesday, and the remaining nine would be taken on Wednesday. The confirmation of all the nominees would be taken on Wednesday,” he added.
Similarly, a petition against Aisha Abubakar as ministerial nominee from Sokoto State was laid on the floor of the Senate yesterday by Senator Ibrahim Gobir.
Melaye said that the kernel of their petition against the nominee was her alleged incompetence to represent them and by extension, the state, in the federal cabinet.
“The Sokoto women, through this petition, are demanding for Ms Aisha Abubakar ‘s replacement from the ministerial list with a more competent person from the state,” he said.
The Senate has, accordingly, forwarded the petition to its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to look into its merits, and report back latest by Tuesday morning before the commence of screening of the remaining 18 ministerial nominees.
– Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja