Senate committee completes report on Amaechi, as Aishat faces opposition from Sokoto APC


The Ethics, Privileges and Public Relations Committee of the Senate has completed its investigation of former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and the Senate may confirm him Tuesday for ministerial appointment.
This is coming as protests rage in some parts of the country over ministerial nominees against whom petitions have been written to both the Senate and President Muhammadu Buhari who nominated them.

Members of the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee of the Senate will meet tomorrow to debate the petition written against the nomination of Ms. Aishat Abubakar, a petition which the Senate President Bukola Saraki had on Thursday referred to the committee.
President Muhammadu Buhari is also expected to take a second look at his nomination of Aishat following a petition directed to him against her.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC Sokoto East) had on Thursday laid a petition by a coalition of women groups in Sokoto State seeking the withdrawal of Aisha’s nomination. With the petition, the Senate has so far received three petitions against ministerial nominees, the first against Rotimi Amaechi and the second against, Mrs. Amina Ibrahim Mohammed.
Amina has since been cleared, screened and confirmed by the senators as fit for a ministerial job, but Amaechi is yet to be fully cleared while the leaderships of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Sokoto State and all its local government areas have petitioned the President Muhammadu Buhari against Aishat’s nomination.
The Chairman of the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee of the Senate, Senator Samuel Anyanwu said the report on Amaechi was ready and that it would be laid on Tuesday during plenary. Although Anyanwu was silent on the content of the report on Amaechi, the Senate leader, Ali Ndume said in an interview that the former governor would be screened on Tuesday.
“Quote me, Amaechi will be screened and confirmed because he possesses the qualification to be a minister. I know you are aware that Amaechi has not been convicted of any crime,” Ndume said in an exclusive interview with our correspondent.
Speaking to our correspondent also, the spokesperson of the Senate, Dino Melaye said they will meet on Aisha’s matter on Monday. Melaye who is also a member of the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee said parties in the petition would be invited to defend themselves.

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Aishat is expected to appear before the committee tomorrow.
The Sokoto State Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Usman Danmadami Isa and Secretary, Malam Aminu Bello Sokoto as well as the party chairmen of the 23 LGAs of the state said in their petition to Buhari that Aisha fails many constitutional requirements to be minister in the APC-led federal government.
The party leaders said in their petition: “The Sokoto State Chapter of the APC, the platform upon which the people of the state were mobilised to support and vote the APC, your good self and all other candidates of the party that won elections in the March and April 2015 general elections, wishes to reiterate that the sweeping victories were based on unalloyed trust and convictions that in accordance with the popular APC’s mantra of change your good self and the leadership of the party at all levels will ensure justice and fair play will prevail, thereby ending the era of impunity that had hitherto beleaguered our beloved nation.
“However, to the dismay of the people of Sokoto State who worked tirelessly to ensure the victory of the party in the state and elsewhere, in the exercise of your constitutional powers to appoint the minister of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that will represent Sokoto State as envisaged by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, due regard was not given to the intendment of the Constitution which stipulates some conditions precedent as basic qualification for a nominee and principle of equity as envisaged by the Constitution.”
Quoting certain sections of the constitution to strengthen their case, the party leaders stated that the ministerial nominee from Sokoto was never a member of the APC; that her uncle, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki  who was the national security adviser under former President Goodluck Jonathan “personified efforts to ensure the victory of the PDP in Sokoto state; that the immediate younger brother of the nominee, Aminu Abubakar Alhaji was the PDP candidate that lost to the now APC governor of the state, Aminu Tambuwal; and that for coming from the same federal constituency as the state governor Tambuwal, Aisha could not be considered a fair choice as minister from Sokoto State.

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The petitioners added that by nominating Aisha who they described as being an embodiment of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Buhari had given the impression that “of all the members of the party (APC), none is worthy to be considered for appointment as a minister.”
They urged President Buhari to withdraw the nomination of Aisha Abubakar as a ministerial nominee meant for Sokoto State “in the spirit of justice, fair play and equity in accordance with the Constitution,” and with due appreciation of Buhari’s “passion for justice and fairness” which they said he exhibited when his attention was drawn to constitutional infraction in respect of his nomination of Ahmed Musa Ibeto from Niger State who comes from the same senatorial district as the Niger State governor.


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