There are strong indications that the Senate may screen the duo of former Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, and Aisha Abubakar as it resumes the screening exercise of the remaining 18 ministerial nominees today.
This was sequel to positive reports that the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions is set to present before the Senate this morning on petitions written against them by their petitioners from Rivers and Sokoto states, respectively.
While the Committee is setting aside the petitions written against Amaechi by Port Har- court-based Integrity Group, in its report on the grounds of issues raised therein already in the court of law, is throwing out, out right-
ly, the one written against Aisha Abubakar by Concerned Sokoto Women on the grounds of being routed through wrong channels.
Aisha, who faced the Senate Committee yesterday on petition written against her, got a clean bill of health from all the Committee members, who said the petition should not be treated for only being copied to the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, and not directly addressed to him.
First to raise the issue was Senator Obinna Joshua Ogba, who pointed out that the petition was addressed directly to President Muhammadu Buhari and not the Senate President, which, according to him, contravenes rule 41(5a) of the Senate Standing Rule.
Senators, who concurred to Ogba’s submission by urging the Committee Chairman to disregard the petition in its entirety for being wrongly addressed, include: Dino Melaye, Jerry Useni, Binta Garba Mashi and Wale Omogunwa.
Melaye particularly noted that since the petition was directly addressed to Buhari, and not the Senate President, the Committee should consider it as dead on arrival.
He added that another procedural defect in the petition was the rules of letter writing the petitioners did not follow.
According to him, a petition is supposed to be signed by petitioners before copying other interested parties and not copying before signing.
“Going by all these identified blunders , the petition is more or less, a wishy washy one which should not be treated in anyway by the committee but rather dumped into the trash can,” he said.
But the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, before giving Aisha Abuba- kar clean bill of health, asked her two questions on fundamental issues raised against her in the petition.
He asked whether she is an indigene of Sokoto State or not, to which she answered yes by saying she is a native of Dogondaji town in Tambuwal Local Government.
– Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja