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Breaking: Senate Suspends Screening of Amaechi, Anwukah, ors

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The Senate this morning suspended the screening of the ministerial nominee from Imo State, Professor Anthony Anwukah, and the former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.

Elomba.com had published reports that Anwukah, President Buhari’s Ministerial nominee from Imo State has a case of fraud round his neck following his indictment by a government white paper on his tenure as Vice Chancellor of Imo State University, Owerri. The white paper found Professor Anwukah, a former Secretary to the government of Imo State guilty of fraud.

A non-governmental organisation, Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative [TNCI] on Friday, 16th October petitioned the Senate not to approve the ministerial nomination of Professor Anthony Anwukah. 

The Senate will also not screen former governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi today after all, Elombah.com can confirm.

Recall that Senator Sam Anyanwu, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, yesterday said Rotimi Amaechi, may be screened on Tuesday.But this morning, The senate withdrew the order paper that contained 8 names for screening including Amaechi’s name and replaced it with another order paper than contained only three names.

This means that only three ministerial nominees will be screened today. The 3 nominees to be screened today are Adebayo Shittu, Claudious Daramola  and Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim.

The initial order paper sighted by journalists slated those listed for screening as: 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)

Of the first order paper Amaechi’s name was number 3, and the report on the petition against the nomination of Amaechi at plenary on Tuesday was also listed therein. But that was changed at the last minute.

Elombah.com learnt that the decision to suspend Amaechi’s screening is not unconnected with the decision of the Appeal 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.

But the Spokesperson of the Senate, Dino Melaye, said the delay is to allow for thorough screening of the nominees.

Anyanwu while speaking with newsmen at the end of the committee’s meeting in Abuja yesterday had said that the Ethics committee will also submit its report on the petition against the nomination of Amaechi at plenary on Tuesday.

Amaechi was billed to be screened last week, but the Senate could not proceed with his screening as the committee could not submit its report. The committee’s report was also expected last Thursday, but the Senate did not continue with the screening of nominees.

Anyanwu also disclosed that the report on the petition against Aisha Abubakar, another ministerial nominee, would equally be submitted at plenary.

“We have heard Amaechi’s petition and all these reports will be ready tomorrow. Except there are further petitions, the reports on all the petitions so far received, will be submitted tomorrow.[today]

“For now, what we have is that of Aisha Abubakar and that of Rotimi Amaechi, which will be submitted to the Senate tomorrow,” he said.

The committee had earlier dismissed the petition against Aisha Abubakar, saying it was wrongly addressed. The committee stressed that all petitions sent to the Senate must be addressed to the Senate President. Anyanwu told the petitioners, led by Mrs Balarabe Abdu, to properly address the petition and represent it if they still wished to pursue the case.

He said that the letter should be addressed to the Senate, through their representative in the Senate. The chairman said that the letter was addressed directly to President Buhari and the Senate was only copied alongside other recipients. The petitioners said Abubakar was not a member of the APC or any other political party, and therefore questioned her competence.

In her defence, Aisha Mohammed said that she was a public servant and would remain a public servant, until she was successfully confirmed by the senate.


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