Senate decides on Amaechi, Aisha today
Nominees visit Speaker Dogara
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,