Nigeria Senate Relaxes Stringent Conditions, Confirms 10 Ministerial Nominees

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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.
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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.
 
 Culled From The Sun
 
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