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Ministerial Screening: Amaechi to Know Fate on Wednesday

Valentine Chinyem



The Senate is yet to make a decision on the petition against the ministerial nomination of the immediate-past governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.

This was due to the inability of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Public Petition to submit its report of clearance before the screening exercise.

Ali Ndume, the Senate Leader while appealing for more time, said the report of the ethics committee on Ameachi’s petition would be ready on Wednesday.

The committee however, cleared Mrs Amina Ibrahim, a nominee who was equally petitioned against by some persons from Kaduna State on allegation that she was not an indigene of the State.

Chairman of the ethics committee, Chris Anyanwu, said Mrs Ibrahim has been cleared, while explaining that the petition against her was on the basis that she was nominated from Kaduna State when she was actually an indigene of Gombe State.

He said the committee found out that she was nominated from Gombe and not from Kaduna State,contrary to the petition, which insinuated that she was nominated to represent Kaduna State.

However, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, accepted Senator Ndume’s request on Rotimi Amaechi and announced that the matter would be reviewed on Wednesday.

Senators from Rivers state, led by George Thompson Sekibo (Rivers East), had petitioned the ethics committee, claiming that Amaechi looted N70billion of Rivers State funds. Though, an allegations Amaechi has continued to deny, maintaining that he is being witch-hunted by his successor, Nyesom Wike.

Sekibo further added that though the Senate president may not have seen the document, but said that stopping Amaechi’s confirmation as minister was the next option.

“I’m informed that this petition reached the EFCC two months ago. And soon they will begin investigation. As a serving minister, how can Amaechi be investigated for corruption?” he asked, adding that Ameachi was not clean enough to be a minister.

In its screening procedures, the senate had said every ministerial nominee must have the support of at least two of the three senators from his or her state – a support Amaechi has been unable to find.