Senate screens 10 cabinet nominees
...unveils 16 more names
The Senate questioned 10 ministerial nominees as confirmation hearing for 37 persons nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari began yesterday.
The Senate had set conditions that President Buhari’s nominees must fulfil before they are confirmed ministers.
One of the conditions is that former lawmakers among the nominees would be given special consideration by being the first to be screened before the others. But they must face questioning and not just take a bow and go as previously done.
Also in line with convention, for any nominee to be cleared as a minister, at least two senators from his state must support his nomination.
However, when the nominees took turns to answer questions it soon emerged that some of these conditions were relaxed.
Sources told Daily Trust that the conditions were modified at closed session just before the hearing began.
Our sources said the senate leadership prevailed on senators not to be aggressive in their approach, or allow personal animosity to influence their conduct. They were also not to hail nominees or accompany them on their way out.
Senator Udoma Udo Udoma was the first to be questioned. President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki asked him two questions when he took the stand.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu also asked two questions related to the failed constitutional conference but before he could answer, Saraki waved the questions away and asked Senator Udoma to “take a bow and leave.” He did just that.
The ruling party’s combative spokesman Lai Mohammed was not asked any question even though he made few remarks before he departed.
Those questioned yesterday were former governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Abdulrahaman Dambazau; National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lai Mohammed; Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and former national chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Audu Ogbeh.
Others were former governor of old Abia state, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Amina Ibrahim Mohammed, Engineer Suleiman Hussaini Adamu and Ibrahim Usman Jibril.
The nominees were grilled by Senators on areas related to their fields and previous positions they have occupied.
They were given the opportunity to also speak on things that were not included in their Curriculum Vitae submitted to the Senate.
Yesterday’s session lasted six hours when the Senate President adjourned for the hearing to resume today by 10.am.
Saraki reveals names of 16 more nominees
Before yesterday’s plenary began Saraki read out the names of more ministerial nominees submitted by President Buhari.
Those on the list include the popular Daily Trust columnist, Adamu Adamu; wife of the former governor Yobe state, Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim; Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Adewole; Brigadier Mahmud M. Dan-Ali; Claudius Omoleye Daramola; Professor Anthony Anwuka and Geoffrey Onyeama .
Others that made the list are former House of Reps leader Abubakar Bwari Bawa Pastor Usani Usani Uguru, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri Ms. Aisha Abubakar Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Muhammadu Bello, Okechukwu Enelamah, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Barrister James Ocholi.
The Senate asked the nominees today to submit their Curriculum Vitaes in preparation for their confirmation hearing.
Addressing newsmen on the new nominees, the Spokesperson of the Senate, Dino Melaye said the nominees should submit their CVs to Senate today.
He said the nominees would be screened tomorrow, Thursday and that the confirmation hearing would be completed same day.
He said the screening of the former governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi could not hold yesterday because the report of the committee that entertained the petition against him was not ready.
“The report of the committee of Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions was not ready yesterday that was why he was not invited for screening. The report will be ready today and he will be screened accordingly,” he said.
Dr. Okechukwu Enyinna Enelamah (Abia State), a medical doctor, he is the cofounder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of African Capital Alliance, a leading private equity firm on the African continent. He has a wealth of experience in investment banking, having worked for Goldman Sachs in London and New York and Arthur Anderson in Nigeria. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a CFA charter.
Enelamah has served on a number of boards of blue chip companies, including Dorman Long Engineering Ltd., Corner Stone Insurance Plc and UAC Nigeria Plc.
Professor Claudis Omoleye Daramola (Ondo State) Findings show that he was among those speculated to be minister. He is a professor of education in the University of Ilorin and holds B.Sc. (Ed.), Sokoto, 1980; M.Ed. Sociology of Education, Jos, 1982 and Ph.D. Sociology of Education, Ilorin, 1990. He has authored hundreds of seminal papers and chapters in books.
Hon Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe State)
“Hajiya Khadija was never consulted before she was nominated as minister,” a source close to her said.
A former first lady ofYobe State and one-time commissioner for transport in the state, Khadija is currently serving her third term as member of the House of Representatives, representing Damaturu/Gujba/Gulani/ Tarmuwa). The daughter of the Second Republic politician, Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim, she was educated at Headington School, Oxford, Padworth College, and the University of Surrey.
Professor Anthony Anwuka (Imo State)
A former Secretary to the Imo State Government, Professor Anwuka did his doctorate degree programme in General Curriculum, System Analysis and Social Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA in 1977. Prior to this, he did his Masters in Educational Administration and Planning at the University of Portland, Oregon USA in 1975. At Fourah Bay University of Serra Leone (1974), he studied English Language. In August 2001, he participated at the Commonwealth ViceChancellors Leadership Conference, Dundee Scotland, UK. Anwuka had worked as a Teaching Assistant, University of Washington, Seattle 1976-1977; Curriculum Resource Person/ Instructor, Specialist Seattle Opportunities Industrialization Centre (SOIC), 1977 1978; Senior Lecturer, University of Maiduguri, 1983-1985; Reader, University of Maiduguri, 1986 1998; and Curriculum Resource Person/Consultant, Nigerian National Teachers Institute, (NTI), Kaduna, 1983 1986. Mr. James Ocholi (Kogi State) A former National Deputy Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), he has contested for the governorship ticket of the party in his state but lost to Abubakar Audu. He was also a governorship aspirant on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the state.
Senator Heineken Lokpobiri (Bayelsa State)
The Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly at one time, Lokpobiri had also represented Bayelsa West Senatorial District in the National Assembly until 2015. He received an LL.B (Hons) in 1994 from Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt
Retired Brigadier-General Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali (Zamfara State)
During his military career, Dan-Ali had attended several courses including Artillery Young Officer Course (YOC) at the Nigerian Army Junior Staff Course; Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), Teshie -Ghana; Company Command’s Course (CCC) at Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI) and Senior Staff Course at Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji in 2000/2001.
Dan-Ali recently conducted the APC primary election in Bayelsa State after the first one, headed by Governor Adam Oshiomhole of Edo State.
Mallam Adamu Adamu (Bauchi State)
Is a veteran journalist from Bauchi State and a long ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Adamu is a renowned public analyst and columnist with the Daily Trust newspapers. He is a public commentator with a distinct style. He is said to be fearless, educated and bold enough to express his views and opinions both locally and internationally. He was the secretary of Buhari’s Transition Committee and had worked closely with the president during the days of the defunct PTF.
Professor Isaac Adewole (Osun)
A Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he obtained his Bachelor of Medicine from the University of Ibadan in 1978 and became a Senior Registrar in 1984. Professor Adewole is the Principal Investigator of the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria, Co-Principal Investigator of the Medical Education Partnership, a former chairman of the National Task Team on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, and Principal Investigator for ‘Operation Stop Cervical Cancer’ in Nigeria. As a vicechancellor, he reportedly transformed the University of Ibadan into one of Africa’s top 10 universities.
Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed (Kaduna)
Is the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). She is a member of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria and Fellow, Institute of Certified Company Commercial Accountants of Nigeria among other professional organisations Abubakar Bawa Bwari A second nominee from Niger State, sources at the National Assembly said he will represent the FCT at the Federal Executive Council.
Popularly known as ABB, he was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Suleja/Gurara/Tafa Federal Constituency in 1998 and subsequently became Chief Whip of the House, a position he held spanning 1999 to 2007. He was also elected as Vice President African, Caribbean, Pacific and European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly and Chairman of the planning committee of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in 2000. Pastor Usani Usani (C/River) Until his nomination as minister by President Buhari, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani is the Cross River State Chairman of the APC.
Muhammad Bello (Adamawa)
He is the former Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria. The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State rejected his nomination.
Speaking to Daily Trust in Yola, the State Organizing Secretary of the party, Ahmad Lawan said the nomination of Bello could affect the chances of the party in future elections.
"He is not a card carrying member of the party. It is unfair to nominate him as minister. We thought President Buhari would appoint a politician who knows those who made sacrifices to bring him and the party to power", he said.
Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno)
A close ally of President Buhari, Shehuri, popularly known as ‘Quality’, was the Director General of the Buhari Campaign organization in Borno State. He was a member of the House of Representatives, a former chairman of the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) and the gubernatorial candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu) He is the Chair of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and holds Bachelor of Arts (BA), Political Science, Columbia University (Columbia College), New York, USA, (1977); Bachelor of Arts (BA), Law, Cambridge University (St. John’s College), Cambridge, United Kingdom (1980); Master of Laws (LL.M), Law, University of London (London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, United Kingdom (1982); Master of Arts (MA), Law, Cambridge University (St. John’s College), Cambridge, United Kingdom (1984).
He was a Research Officer, Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Lagos, Nigeria, (1983-1984) and speaks English, French, German and Ibo. A’isha Abubakar Is the nominee representing Sokoto State. Little is known about her.
Chief Audu Ogbeh during the ministerial screening at the National Assembly Abuja yesterday.