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Ministers: Senate Screens Six More Nominees

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The Senate on Wednesday screened another batch of six ministerial nominees, leaving a balance of five more candidates to go.

Those screened were Adewole Isaac Folorunso, Hon. Bawa Bwari, Mr. Godfrey Onyeama, Zainab Ahmed, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali and Pastor Usani Usani Uguru.

The Peoples Democratic Party Senators, however, demanded and got an apology from one of the ministerial nominees, Pastor Usani Uguru, over unsavory remarks against the party.

Trouble for the pastor began while responding to questions from one of the senators.

The senator had made reference to the nominee’s networking days with some senators, including Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi Central) and Rabiu Kwakwanso sometime in 2009, when someone remarked from the corners, “under PDP.”

The pastor had to cut short his presentation, saying: “God forbid, God forbid,” twice in response to the side comments before returning to his presentation.

The derogatory remarks by the pastor caused spontaneous uproar among the PDP senators. Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, rising on a point of order and citing order 14 (a) of the Senate Standing Rules on privileges, reminded the nominee that he served as a commissioner in the Copyrights Commission under PDP government and demanded that the candidate apologise for his remarks.

The nominee had no choice but to tender an unreserved apology to the PDP senators. But, the apology did not appear to appease the PDP senators as they made efforts to stall his screening.

Rising under order 120 of the Senate Standing Order, Senator Enyinnya Abaribe (Abia South) demanded to know whether the nominee had submitted his assets declaration form before the screening as required by the Senate rule.

Sensing trouble for the nominee, Senate President Bukola Saraki had to intervene to assure Abaribe that the Senate was in receipt of the said documents and asked Abaribe that he could call for them at the end of the sitting if he was still in doubt.

Not done yet, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (Abia North), rising under Order 14 (a) of the Senate standing rules, raised issues in the curriculum vitae submitted by the nominee.

He observed that the documents submitted to the Senate showed that all the three tax clearances submitted by the nominee were all dated same day- October 14, 2015.

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