Presidency Commends Senate Over Screening Of Amaechi, Others

The presidency yesterday expressed happiness that former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, was eventually screened by the Senate, after three postponements due to petitions written against his nomination by concerned petitioners.

It would be recalled that a Port Harcourt-based organisation known as the Integrity Group had petitioned the Red Chamber, alleging cases of fraud to the tune of N70 billion against Amaechi, while he was in office.

The report of the petition, which was not considered by the Senate, angered the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators, who decided to boycott Amaechi’s screening exercise on the floor of the Upper Chamber last Thursday.

But briefing Senate correspondents over the screening , the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said that there was nothing wrong in the senate’s screening process on Amaechi.

Enang, a former member of the PDP, noted that the constitution allows the legislative arm of government to regulate its own proceedings at any given time and in whatever circumstances.

He said: “They (senators) are within their constitutional rights to regulate their own proceedings.

The constitution authorises the Senate and the House of Representatives, and every legislative house to regulate its own proceedings, including managing matters that are brought before them.

“Therefore, what the Senate did on Amaechi’s screening last week, is domestic to the Senate, and I am not in a position to speak about it; but they are within their constitutional rights. What they do is domestic to them and internal to them and it is within their powers. So, I am not in a position to speak in one way or the other about it”.

Enang, who would be conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws Degree (L.LD) by the University of Uyo on October 31, also commended all and sundry for the matured manner the screening process has been conducted so far.

He said: “Let me appreciate the National Assembly Press Corps, the Nigerian press, the robust assessment and coverage of the nomination, and the screening process by the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Let me also, through you, express our very sincere appreciation to His Excellency, the President of the Senate, the Deputy President of the Senate, the leadership of the APC and the PDP in the Senate for the painstaking nature and process of screening the nominees for ministerial appointment.

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