Ministerial Screening: Anxiety Grips Senators, Amaechi & Other Nominees

AS the Senate resumes its screening of ministerial nominees today, anxiety has gripped the senators and nominees. While nominees are bothered over the outcome of the exercise, the senators were unsettled by the decision of the court not to stop the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT from proceeding with its hearing of the false assets declaration suit against Senate President Bukola Saraki.


Those listed for screening: Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Khadijah Abba-Ibrahim (Yobe); Claudius Omoleye Daramola (Ondo); Anthony Anwuka Gozie (Imo); Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali, retd (Zamfara); James E. Ocholi (Kogi); Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed (Kaduna); Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno); Aisha Abubakar (Sokoto); Heineken Lokpobiri (Bayelsa); Adamu Adamu (Bauchi); Pastor Usani Usani Uguru (Cross River) and Abubakar Bwari Bawa (Niger)

There are also fears that former Governor of Rivers State, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who was the director-general of President Muhammadu Buhari campaign organisation for the 2015 polls may not be screened today. Amaechi, whose screening had been postponed twice may be screened on Wednesday because he is the 15th nominee listed for the exercise. So far, the Senators have not screened more than nine nominees per day. Amaechi has been a source of division among senators on account of petitions against him.

However, Amaechi, yesterday dismissed report in a national newspaper that he stormed the residence of the Senate President to protest the postponement of his ministerial screening, saying the report was not only a fabrication, but also part of the organised campaign to rubbish his image.

In a statement by David Iyofor of his Media Office, Amaechi insisted the report was absolutely not true and a deliberate and carefully calibrated attempt to characterize Amaechi with a very bad and demeaning mannerism.

This came as the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions cleared Amaechi to be screened and cleared by the Senate.

A source told Vanguard that the committee took the decision to clear Amaechi because the case was in court and therefore it could not consider the petition by the Integrity Group. With the clean bill of health given to Amaechi, he would appear before the Senators today for screening.

To get a soft-landing, seven of the nominees billed to be screened today, visited the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara yesterday.

This is coming amid fears that the nominees from Oyo State, Barr Adebayo Sh!ttu and his Zamfara State counterpart, General Dan Ali (retd) may be dropped. There were indications, yesterday that Sh!ttu may be dropped for Adewole Isaac Folorunsho.

Meantime, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Sam Anyanwu, assured yesterday that reports on the petitions against Amaechi and Aisha Abubakar are ready and will be submitted today before the screening.