How Senate reacted to Keyamo’s Ministerial nomination

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How Senate reacted to Keyamo’s Ministerial nomination

There was a momentary rowdiness in the Senate on Monday afternoon over the nomination of a former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, as a Minister by President Bola Tinubu.

Keyamo, a nominee from Delta State, appeared before the Senate at around 1:30pm, and after introducing himself, a point of order was raised by the Senate deputy minority whip, Darlington Nwokocha, on the need to defer the nominee’s screening.

Keyamo, who praised the Senators in his introductory remarks, said he had already given up on being a minister again, but at the last minute on Friday, President Tinubu submitted his name for ministerial appointment.

“I have already given up, packed my bags to travel for a vacation with my family before my name was announced on Friday,” Keyamo said while acknowledging the fact that he had issues with Senator Godiya Akwashiki from Nasarawa State, in the last Assembly but that they are now best of allies.

But, Senator Nwokocha (LP, Abia Central), rose based on Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, that Keyamo’s nomination should be stepped down because he refused to honour a previous National Assembly’s invitation that he was not answerable to lawmakervoie

 

The Senator said: “Sometime in 2020, the issue of the Public Works Programme came up with N20,000 to be given to 1,000 people in the 777 local governments.

“At a point, we wanted to carry out our responsibility, because we make laws to help the people and we also have the power of oversight.

“The nominee was invited over the N52billion we appropriated. He publicly told all the people that the lawmakers wanted to hijack the process.

“Since he has been running away from here, he is here, it is our responsibility to find out (from Keyamo),” Nwokocha said while moving that Keyamo’s nomination should be put on hold.

Also, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (APGA, Abia South) seconded the motion moved by Nwokocha, that by the virtue of Section 88b of the Constitution, Keyamo’s screening for ministerial appointment be suspended.

Abaribe said there were implications for deliberately rejecting the summons of both chambers of the National Assembly.

“I support that the screening of this nominee should be stepped down pending when he decides that the National Assembly has the power to inquire from a Minister.”

When Senate President, God’swill Akpabio, put the matter to a voiethere were conflicting responses.

The Red Chamber became rancourous for some minutes before Senate President Akpabio rose and addressed his colleagues, stating that Keyamo was not a nominee of the Senate.

He asked the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, to speak and call for an executive session.

While he spoke, Opeyemi moved for the extension of their sitting time to capture all items on the day’s order paper.

The motion was subsequently seconded and the Senate is now in a closed-door session.

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