Buhari’s Cabinet: Nominees Under EFCC Probe Face Tough Hurdles

Barring a last-minute change of mind on facts available to him, President Muhammadu Buhari may not appoint into his cabinet anybody under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It was also gathered yesterday that the President is under pressure from some eminent Nigerians, including a former President, to appoint ministers without further delay.
The President had promised to constitute his cabinet by September, but the eminent Nigerians, it was learnt, have advised that any further delay would be counter-productive.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that anybody arrested, detained, quizzed, or arraigned by the EFCC may not make Buhari’s cabinet in line with his commitment to probity.
It was learnt that the heightening of arrest and arraignment of some Politically Exposed Persons by the EFCC and the delay in raising the Federal Executive Council may be a setback for such politicians and technocrats eyeing ministerial slots.
One of those who might be affected is the former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, who was said to be in contention for either the Chief of Staff to the President or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Oronsaye, who was arrested on Wednesday by the EFCC and might be prosecuted next week, is competing for the SGF slot with ex-governors Rotimi Amaechi, and Ogbonnaya Onu.
It was learnt that Oronsaye is a favoured candidate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It was also gathered that the petition against ex-Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso before the EFCC was part of a plot by some politicians to abort plans to make him a minister.
Some forces and groups were said to have made a case for Kwankwaso as the next Minister of the Federal Capital Tertitory.
Others who may have difficulty in serving in Buhari’s government in any capacity are ex-governors Timpreye Sylva, Murtala Nyako, Prince Abubakar Audu, Danjuma Goje.
Although these former governors played a vital role in delivering their states to APC, they are all under trial in one form or the other with the cases dragging for about four to five years.
A reliable source said: “I think that those who have cases or undergoing investigation with EFCC or ICPC might not make the ministerial list until the allegations against them are sorted out.
“Although the law presumes these former governors innocent until proven guilty by the court, there may be a challenge in making them nominees because of public opinion.
“The list is being carefully screened in such a way that there will be no issues with their clearance in the Senate.”
Meanwhile, contrary to the alleged recommendation of the Ahmed Joda Transition Committee, the President may not be able to appoint 19 ministers.

Source: The Nation

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