Sen­ate de­cides on Amaechi, Aisha to­day

Nom­i­nees visit Speaker Dog­ara

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Ismail Mu­dashir & Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi

The Sen­ate Com­mit­tee on Ethics, Priv­i­leges and Pub­lic Pe­ti­tions will to­day sub­mit its re­port on the pe­ti­tions against the nom­i­na­tion of former gover­nor of Rivers State Ro­timi Amaechi and Ms. Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto State as min­is­ters.

The re­port of the com­mit­tee, which is ex­pected to be de­bated on the floor of Sen­ate cham­ber, will de­ter­mine the fate of Amaechi and Aisha.

Our cor­re­spon­dent re­ports that screen­ing of Amaechi, who was among the first set of min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees sent to the up­per cham­ber, was stepped down twice. Only he and Bar­ris­ter Adebayo Shittu, the nom­i­nee from Oyo State, are yet to be screened among the first set of nom­i­nees sub­mit­ted by Pres­i­dent Buhari on Septem­ber 30.

Speak­ing in an in­ter­view, the chair­man of the com­mit­tee, Sen­a­tor Sa­muel Anyanwu, said the re­ports on the two nom­i­nees are go­ing to

be laid at the ple­nary to­day. “We are through with all the two re­main­ing pe­ti­tions and we are go­ing to sub­mit our re­port to­mor­row (to­day),” he said.

Amaechi, Daily Trust heard from sources in the Sen­ate, may be cleared and screened to­day.

Also yes­ter­day, Aisha, the nom­i­nee from Sokoto State, ap­peared be­fore the sen­ate com­mit­tee over a pe­ti­tion against her nom­i­na­tion by a coali­tion of women groups in the state.

Aisha, who told mem­bers of the com­mit­tee that she did not be­long to any po­lit­i­cal party, had bro­ken down in tears. Our cor­re­spon­dent saw her friends and rel­a­tives who ac­com­pa­nied her to the panel, con­sol­ing her out­side the com­mit­tee room.

“I’m a pub­lic ser­vant and by na­ture of my job, I’m not per­mit­ted to reg­is­ter with a po­lit­i­cal party. I’m from Do­gon Daji in Tam­buwal Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Sokoto State,” she said

Speak­ing dur­ing the sit­ting, Sen­a­tor Ogba Joseph Obinna (PDP, Ebonyi Cen­tral) told his col­leagues that since the pe­ti­tion against Aisha was ad­dressed to Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari and not Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Bukola Saraki, “it was not ac­tu­ally for the Sen­ate, it was only for our no­tice.”

On his part, Sen­a­tor Dino Me­laye (APC, Kogi West) said the pe­ti­tion­ers vi­o­lated sec­tion 41 of the Sen­ate’s stand­ing or­ders.

“The pe­ti­tion was dead on ar­rival be­cause it was ad­dressed to Pres­i­dent Buhari. It also vi­o­lated the rules of let­ter of writ­ing,” he said.

Also, Sen­a­tor Jeremiah T. Useni (PDP, Plateau South) said: “As far as we are con­cerned, we have noth­ing to do with the pe­ti­tion, Aisha should be al­lowed to go.”

When the pe­ti­tion­ers, led by Balaraba Ab­dul, ap­peared be­fore the com­mit­tee, Anyanwu ad­vised them to rep­re­sent it.

“Go back and bring a pe­ti­tion that is ad­dressed to the Sen­ate Pres­i­dent. The one you brought can­not be en­ter­tained be­cause it was ad­dressed to Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari,” he said.

Our cor­re­spon­dent re­ports that the con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing of the 18 re­main­ing min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees will con­tinue to­day with Amaechi and Bar­ris­ter Adebayo Shittu.

Oth­ers to be screened this week are: Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe), Claudius Omol­eye Daramola (Ondo), Pro­fes­sor An­thony An­wuka (Imo), Ge­of­frey Onyeama (Enugu), re­tired Bri­gadier Mo­hammed M. Dan-Ali (Zam­fara) and Bar­ris­ter James E. Ocholi (Kogi).

Also ex­pected to ap­pear at the con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing are Zainab Sham­suna Ahmed (Kaduna), Okechukwu Enelamah (Abia), Muham­madu Bello (Adamawa), Mustapha Baba She­huri (Borno), Ms. Aisha Abubakar (Sokoto), Sen­a­tor Heineken Lokpo­biri (Bayelsa), Adamu Adamu (Bauchi), Pro­fes­sor Isaac Ade­wole (Osun), Pas­tor Usani Usani Uguru (Cross River) and Abubakar Bwari Bawa (Niger State), who re­placed the former deputy gover­nor Ahmed Musa Ibeto.

Mean­while, some min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees were seen at the of­fice of the Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Yakubu Dog­ara yes­ter­day.

Our cor­re­spon­dent re­ports that eight of the 16 nom­i­nees who were in the sec­ond batch of min­is­te­rial list sub­mit­ted by Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari were at the Speaker’s of­fice around 4.pm yes­ter­day.

The nom­i­nees were led by the two Na­tional As­sem­bly aides to the pres­i­dent, Sen­a­tor Ita Enang and Al­haji Ab­dul­rah­man Kawu Su­maila.

The nom­i­nees had a closed-door meet­ing with the Speaker that lasted for about 20 min­utes.

Though some said the nom­i­nees were at the Speaker’s of­fice to seek his sup­port ahead of their screen­ing, Kawu said they only went to greet him as the deputy chair­man of the Na­tional As­sem­bly.

From right: House of Reps Speaker Yakubu Dog­ara, Sen­a­tor Dino Me­laye, Rep. Ahmed Yer­ima and Rep John­son E. Ag­bonay­ihma, Edo, at the Fourth World Con­fer­ence of Speak­ers of Par­lia­ment at the UN Head­quar­ters, New York,

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