Senate Confirms Amaechi, 17 Others As Ministers

imageFormer Governor Rotimi Amaechi on Thursday overcame stiff opposition from senators elected on the platform of opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as lawmakers elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, ensured that he was confirmed as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The former Rivers State Governor was confirmed alongside 17 other ministerial nominees, thus ending the long drawn ministerial confirmation hearing which began about three weeks ago.
The ministerial nominees confirmed on Thursday are – Barr. Adebayo Shittu, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Adijat Abba Ibrahim, Heineken Lokpobiri, Prof. Claudius Omoleye Daramola, Shehuri Mustapha, Ocholi James, Bawa Bwari, Geoffrey Onyeama, Hajia Zainab Ahmed and Monsur Mohammed Dan’Ali.

Also confirmed for appointment as minister are Pastor Usani Usani Uguru, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Prof. Anwuka Anthony, Mohammed Musa Bello, Adamu Adamu and Aisha Abubakar.
Lawmakers elected on the platform of PDP had opposed the confirmation of Amaechi, arguing that the report of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges which was saddled with the task of investigating corruption allegations by a group from Rivers State against him should be considered before the issue of confirmation.

Senator Biodun Olujimi, a PDP lawmaker representing Ekiti, had raised a point of order, asking the Senate to consider the report at the beginning of plenary on Thursday.
But he was overruled by Senate President Bukola Saraki, who said that all issues on the report will be considered after the screening of the commissioners and chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which the Senate embarked upon immediately it commenced plenary.

The Senate went into executive session immediately after it confirmed the appointment of the INEC nominees. On resumption, the Senate confirmed the 17 ministerial nominees after which the Senate President asked Senator Anyawu, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics to read the report.

The Committee had recommended that the Senate should not confirm Amaechi since he is challenging the various allegations against him in court in tune with its tradition of venturing into issues undergoing judicial process.

This led to debate in which the Senators elected on the platform of APC insisted that the former Rivers State Governor must be confirmed as minister while the PDP Senators opposed it. The PDP Senators later later walked out of the Senate chamber as they realized that their APC colleagues who are in the majority are bent on pushing through the ex-governor’s confirmation as minister.

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