Senate confirms 45 ministerial nominees, as El-Rufai, others await security clearance

THE Senate, on Monday, August 7, confirmed 45 out of 48 ministers nominated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The ministers were confirmed immediately after today’s exercise, where only two nominees were screened. The confirmation was made despite controversies surrounding the certificates and forgery of some nominees.

Three nominees, namely, Nasir El-Rufai, Abubakar Danladi and Stella Okotete have not been confirmed due to security clearance,  according to the senate president.

Tinubu had, in different letters, conveyed the names of the ministerial nominees to the Senate, explaining that the confirmation request was in accordance with the provisions of Section 147 subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

On Monday, July 31, the Senate began screening the 48-man list of ministerial nominees. The exercise, which began on July 31 and continued until August 7. The Senate presided by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on the first day of the exercise, screened 14 out of the 28 ministerial nominees of the first batch while nine other nominees underwent their screening on Tuesday, August 2.

Similarly, the remaining nominees went through their screening process.

Out of the 48 nominees, some, including Nyesom Wike, Dave Umahi, Abubakar Momoh, Abubkar Kyari, John Enoh, Abubakar Badaru and  Nkiru Onyejiocha were excused from answering questions and asked to ‘take a bow and leave.’

While some of these ministers faced random questions on the economy, education, and insecurity, some lawmakers spoke highly of them, particularly the senators who represent the senatorial districts where the nominees hail from.

Some were, however, drilled by the senators and were made to clarify some allegations ranging from alleged age and certificate falsification forgery and others. Bosun Tijani, one of the nominees, underwent intense questioning from the senators about certain tweets he had posted in the past.

A professor, Joseph Utsev, who’s currently the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Wannune, was also quizzed on how he could have been in primary one at the age of three. In his resume, the nominee revealed that he was born in 1980 and graduated from primary education in 1989. A situation which some senators thought might not be possible.

Another who had a similar hurdle with the senate during the screening was Bello Mohammed from Sokoto. He was quizzed about his secondary school leaving certificate. The nominee,  according to a senator representing Ondo South, Jimoh Ibrahim, submitted a secondary school certificate that does not tally with the grades contained in his resume.

In response, Muhammed explained to the Senate that the certificate with the stated grades in his resume was not included initially but would be provided at a later time.






     

     

    Similarly, Senator Abubakar Danladi faced an alleged court judgment barring him from holding public office for a decade, which he denied.

    Despite facing allegations, these nominees were confirmed as ministers by the Senate.

    At the end of the screening exercise, the Senate President, who presided over the exercise, put the question of their confirmation to a vote, and the lawmakers unanimously approved their appointments. 

    The confirmed nominees are 

    1. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar
    2. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa
    3. Hannatu Musawa
    4. Uche Nnaji
    5. Betta Edu
    6. Dave Umahi
    7. Nyesom Wike Governor
    8. Mohammed Badaru Abubakar
    9. Ekperipe Ekpo
    10. Nkiru Onyejeocha
    11. Olubunmi Tunji Ojo
    12. Bello Muhammad Goronyo
    13. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye
    14. Dele Alake
    15. Lateef Fagbemi
    16. Adebayo Adelabu
    17. Deputy Governor, 
    18. Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim
    19. Ali Pate
    20. Joseph Utsev
    21. Abubakar Kyari
    22. John Enoh
    23. Olawale Edun
    24. Abubakar Momoh
    25. Muhammed Idris
    26. Gboyega Oyetola
    27. Bello Matawalle
    28. Atiku Bagudu
    29. Simon Lalong
    30. Bosun Tijjani
    31. Mariya Mahmoud
    32. Tunji Alausa
    33. Tanko Sununu
    34. Ibrahim Geidam
    35. Alkali Ahmed
    36. Uba Maigari
    37. Aliyu Sabi
    38. Shuaibu Abubakar
    39. Zephaniah Jossalo
    40. Tahir Mamman
    41. Lola Ade John
    42. Ahmed Tijani
    43. Ishak Salako
    44. Heineken Lokpobiri
    45. Festus Keyamo

    The president is expected to swear in the ministers in the coming days and announce the ministries they will head.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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