It is believed that the Senate did not allow its deputy president, Ike Ekweremadu, to preside over the screening of ministerial nominees yesterday because he is of the opposition party.
The Senate plenary session was suspended yesterday as Senator Bukola Saraki is currently facing a 13-count charge of false assets declaration, to which he has pleaded not guilty, but the hearing has since continued at the tribunal.
14:27: Next to be screened is James Ocholi (Kogi state).
14:25: Baba Shehuri is told to bow and go after answering just one question from Senator Bukola Saraki. Baba Shehuri Mustapha is a former Councillor, former LG Chairman, former House of Assembly Honourable and Reps Honourable.
14:24: Baba Shehuri says: “Local government should have financial autonomy.”
14:22: Baba Shehuri says: “Throughout my political life, I have served only the Nigerian people.”
14:20: Baba Shehuri says: “‘I am not here to represent any vested interest, I am here for the good of the common man.”
14:17: Saraki asks Baba Shehuri to introduce himself.
13:32: Lokpobiri says; ‘This Senate should focus on providing a good allocation for the water sector in Nigeria”
13:30: Lokpobiri says: ‘I wrote on Enviromental Rights as a scholar because our rights do not make provision for Environmental Rights.”
13:28: Saraki asks Lokpobiri to introduce himself.
13:23: After answering series of questions, Rotimi Amaechi is told to take a bow and go. A large number of National Assembly staff and well wishers yelling we don win, we don win after the ministerial sreening of Rotimi Ameachi. Next to be screened is Senator Heineken Lokpobiri (Bayelsa state).
Some supporters of the ministerial nominee, Rotimi Amaechi chanted his name after his screening at the Senate.
The lobby was packed with people from different tribes showing support.
Supporters cheer Amaechi’s name at Senate (PHOTO CREDIT: Chinenye Ugonna)
13:23: Amaechi says: “There is nowhere i was indicted.”
13:22: Amaechi says: “A Nigerian is his own government because he provides his own power and security.”
13:21: Amaechi says: “If they send a girl to you to do something for her and you sleep with the girl, you are corrupt. If you offer your child or family member you know is not qualified.My family and i slept in one room because i did what was right I hate corruption. Corruption is hard to define.”
13:20: Amaechi on corruption: “I have never taken bribe.”
13:19: Amaechi says: “Danjuma Goje came to my house one day to shout at me and he said, “have you ever been a senator before, have you ever been a minister before”, now i want to be a minister, after that, i will be a senator.”
13:19: Amaechi says: “Why people don’t invest in Nigeria is because the cost of investment is higher than the profit.”
13:17: Amaechi says: “We must improve on the Social Rights of the people; if you have peace you’ll have investors.”
13:15: Amaechi says: “Nigeria cannot sustain itself with only proceeds from oil.”
13:12: Amaechi says: “Mining is one area God has blessed us that we need to invest. We also need to invest in Education.”
13:07: Sen. Wammako asks Amaechi what will he do in his first hundred days in office if confirmed as ministers, Senator Sani asks Amaechi to define corruption and Senator Ashafa asks Amaechi to address corruption charges levelled against him, while Senator Abubakar asks Amaechi to suggest way forward towards curbing the menace of unemployment.
Senate President Bukola Saraki’s eyes gazed at Rotimi Amaechi has he answers questions raised on the floor of the Senate
13:05: More questions for Rotimi Amaechi.
13:04: Amaechi says: ”If I become the minister of Niger Delta, the East/West will be the first to be completed.”
13:03: Amaechi says: “‘I believe there are resources in the Niger-Delta, that is why there is Militancy.”
13:01: Amaechi says: “If legislators want the president to assign portfolios to nominees then it should be included in the constitution.”
13:00: Amaechi on advise on upcoming politicians: “I don’t have an advise for upcoming politicians because Nigerian politicians believe there is need for compromise but not when it clashes with principles.”
12:55: Amaechi says: “I was born to test my right and defend my right. I was once a student union leader and i’m one man that don’t like corruption.”
12:53: Amaechi says: “All we did in the Governors Forum was to defend the rights of Nigerians.”
12:46: Senate President Bukola Saraki however calls for order in the House and so questions are now been forwarded to Amaechi after the mild arguments.
12:43: The Senate Majority Leader Ali Ndume has suggested that Amaechi should be allowed to bow and go because he is a former speaker in his state. This has triggered uproar in the Senate.
12:40: After speaking about his achievements, Senate Minority leader Godswill Akpabio informs the Senate that PDP senators have no questions for the ministerial nominee Rotimi Amaechi at least for now.
12:37: Amaechi says: ”If I am confirmed as a minister, I will bring my experience as a former political office holder to bear in government.”
12:35: Amaechi says: “Under my leadership as governor of Rivers state, we redefined governance.”
12:33: Amaechi says: “I happen to be one of the first speakers and also served as a governor in my state for 8 years.”
12:30: Saraki asks Amaechi (Rivers state) to introduce himself.
12:28: First nominee, Rotimi Amaechi is ushered into the Red Chamber.
12:27: Senate to moves into Committe of Whole to begin the Ministerial screening.
12:20: Rotimi Amaechi and five other ministerial nominees have been listed for Thursday’s screening at the Senate. Other nominees that will face the lawmakers include Heineken Lokpobiri, Claudius Omoleye Daramola, Prof. Adewole Isaac, Shehuri Mustapha and Ocholi James.
12:15: Four bills are laid for presentation on the floor of the senate for first reading . The bills include National Saecurity tax fun (est,etc) bill 2015, Federal Capital Territory Act CAP F6, LFN (Ammendment) bill and the Nigerian Postal Services Act CAP
12:10: Senators Barnabas Gemade and Abaribe raises public petitions. They are referred to the Cttee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
12:05: Saraki reads the announcement for the day which includes a letter from President Buhari on appointments.
12:00: Senator Thompson Sekibo from Rivers state addresses the controversy that has clouded the nomination of Rotimi Amaechi and if he will be screened today. He says: “If the Order paper shows he will be taken then he will be taken. It’s not my own personal position, the Senate position supersedes every other position. So if his name is included to be screened today, he will be screened. We’ll not stop him.”
11:59: After a hour in a closed session, the Senate resumes plenary.
Ask me one on one.