Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Ministerial List: Amaechi's Nomination Causes Uproar In Senate

The announcement of the ministerial nominees yesterday, October 6, by Senate President Bukola Saraki resulted in a rowdy plenary session today.

Trouble started after Senator George Sekibo presented a petition to the Senate against the nomination of the former governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, The cable reports.

Amaechi is one of the 21 people on President Muhammadu Buhari ministerial nominees list, sent to the Senate for screening.

In the petition submitted by Sekibo, a PDP senator from Rivers state on behalf of the three senators from the state, Amaechi was accused of fraud and corruption.

Amaechi has been accused of looting N70billion of Rivers state funds but he has denied the allegation, insisting that he was being witch-hunted by his successor, Nyesom Wike.

A shouting match ensued among the senators as Sekibo rose to present the petition. Some senators belonging to the All Progressives Congress (APC) shouted him down, chorousing “no, no, no”, “dead on arrival.”

However, Olusola‎ Adeyeye (chief whip) quelled the melee and Saraki intervened by calling for order while he allowed Senator Sekibo to go ahead with the submission.

The PDP senator noted that two months ago, a non-governmental organization, “The Integrity Group” had written a petition to Buhari, accusing Amaechi of fraud and corruption while he was governor.

He said stopping Amaechi’s confirmation at the Senate was the next option as President Buhari may not have seen the petition.

Sekibo pointed out that Rivers state was trying to recover looted funds just as Buhari was fighting to recover the nation’s looted funds.

He wondered how the former governor will be investigated for corruption as a serving minister, saying: “Our take is, if you are appointing Amaechi‎ as minister, how do you want him to be investigated?”

Senators from Rivers state said Buhari should have reconsidered Amaechi’s nomination following allegations of fraud and corruption.

The Rivers state government has said Amaechi’s nomination as minister will not save him from being prosecuted for looting the state’s funds.

Meanwhile, the Rivers state police command said it uncovered plots by two opposing groups to demonstrate over the ministerial nomination of the former governor of the state.