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Senate Confirms 36 Ministerial Nominees as PDP walks out

  • Confirms INEC chairman and 5 commissioners36 min nominees confirmed

The senate today has confirmed 36 nominees sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari without the PDP caucus who walked out during the vote on nominee Rotimi Amechi of Rivers State.

It also screened and confirmed Prof. Mahmud Yakubu as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and 5 other commissioners representing different geo-political zones to properly constitute the board of the commission.

However, disagreement ensued when the President of the Senate Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki called for vote on the Rivers State nominee, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amechi which was tabled for discussion arising from the report of the Senate committee on Public Petitions, Ethics and Privileges presented by its chairman, Senator Samuel Anyanwu.

Senator Anyanwu in his recommendation said the senate cannot deliberate on a matter which is in court particularly when the accused in this case is the complainant.

Senate Leader, Ali Ndume who noted the recommendation interpreted it to mean clearance for Amechi, was resisted by the PDP caucus who worked out in protest to the attempt to clear Rotimi Amechi.

In their absence, the APC senators confirmed Amechi and others with the Deputy President of the Senate, senator Ike Ekweremadu in the chamber.

Addressing a press conference, the PDP caucus and minority leader, Senator Godswil Akpabio said in compliance with the senate rules regarding matters before a court of competent jurisdiction, it would be subjudice to clear the nominee when in fact, the nominee in question approached the court of appeal.

According to Akpabio, “when the particular nominee in question was invited for screening, we had said that we should discuss the report of the petition that was written against the nominee and we were shut out, then they said the report will be taken when the confirmation is about taking place and today, the confirmation hearing was about to commence when we attempted to start discussing the report. The chairman of the public petitions and Ethics is here and you notice that there was a little bit of something we think was not in conformity with morality.

The reality is that once a case is before a competent court of law, any action on that matter is subjudice and committee was able to establish that the issue or the issues that were brought against a nominee are already adjudicated upon by the court of appeal and other courts of competent jurisdiction so the issue of taking further action on his nomination either by way of appointments or otherwise did not exist and of course, we tried to make this point and you can see, the majority felt there was no need to comply with the law; the law is very clear that once a case or a matter is in court of competent jurisdiction, you can take no further action; there was nothing wrong in suspending the issue of confirmation until the case is disposed of and in this case, I understand he himself went to court so it could have even been a good idea for the nominee to withdraw his case from the court to allow the senate to go into the matter but when that did not happen, we felt that as law makers who more or less have the law embedded in their bossom, we have a responsibility to Nigerians not to partake in that Charade”.

It is recalled that President Muhamadu Buhari sent a list of 36 ministerial nominees to the senate for confirmation for which the senate commenced screening. With the exercise completed, President Muhamadu Buhari may proceed to assign portfolios to them.

Senate Clears Ministerial Nominees

Published on: 2015-10-14 00:05:45 Hits : 10394
Senate Clears Ministerial Nominees No filibustering Final list released Screening continues Contrary to expectation today, the Nigerian Senate has cleared all Ministerial nominees with no filibustering. They are Mr. Kayode Fayemi, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Osagie Ehanire, Am...

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