Senate In Rowdy Session Over Petition Against Amaechi’s Ministerial Nomination

Senate In Rowdy Session Over Petition Against Amaechi’s Ministerial Nomination

By News Desk | The Trent on October 8, 2015
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PDP Rotimi Amaechi Rivers State APC Nigeria Corruption White Paper
Rotimi Amaechi

The Senate was became rowdy on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 when a petition was submitted against the ministerial nomination of former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi by the Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, George Sekibo.

Punch reports that as soon as Sekibo, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member raised a point of order to submit the list, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators began screaming: No!! No!!!

Regardless of the protests from his party members, Senate President Bukola Saraki  gave Sekibo the permission to submit the document on behalf of his colleagues from Rivers State, before referring the petition to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions for further probe into the allegation levied against Amaechi based investigations carried out by a Port Harcourt-based group, called the Integrity Group.

Senator Sekibo went on to avail that the petition had been forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari and the various anti-graft agencies about two months ago.

He said, “The Integrity Group, based in Port Harcourt, believes in transparency, fighting against corruption. They (Integrity Group) believe in good governance and effective utilisation of every fund that is allocated to any state government.

“They went into a research and discovered that over N70bn were transferred from hard currency account to places outside the country. A petition on this note was written to Mr. President. I believe the President has not read it.

“If he has read it, he may not have hurriedly nominated Rotimi Amaechi to be a minister. Amaechi is qualified to be a minister, but when issues of corruption and fraud are openly X-rayed by people, it is necessary for Mr. President to take a critical look and examine the allegations whether they are true or not.”

Sekibo went on to stress that senators from Rivers State were not against President Buhari nominating an APC member as minister from the state, but the person should be someone with a cleaner record than Amaechi.

Decrying the actions of the APC Senators, the PDP Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Ighoyota Amori said such behaviour would send wrong signals to Nigerians.

In their defence the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye, explained that the APC senators protested against Sekibo submitting the petition on the floor of the Senate as it is the responsibility of individuals and civil society organisations.

He said: “Our responsibility as senators is to screen the ministerial nominees based on petitions received from outsiders like civil society organisations, and communities and not from senators.

“We specifically objected to Senator George Sekibo presenting the petition not because we are against the investigation of allegation against Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, but because the petition was brought by senators.

“Petitions should come from outside. They should not be sponsored by members within the chamber. We should not be the judge in our own case.”

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