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Presidency Commends Senate over Screening of Amaechi, Others

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The presidency has expressed happiness that former Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, was eventually screened by the Senate, after three postponements due to petition written against his nomination.

‪Briefing Senate correspondents over the screening , the Senior Special Assistant   to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said that there was nothing wrong in the senate’s screening process on Amaechi.‬

‪Enang, a former member of the PDP, noted that the Constitution allows the legislative arm of government to regulate its own proceedings at any given time and in whatever circumstances.‬

He said: “they (senators) are within their constitutional rights to regulate their own proceedings. The Constitution authorises the Senate and the House of Representatives, and every legislative house to regulate its own proceedings, including managing matters that are brought before them.‬

‬‪”Therefore, what the Senate did on Amaechi’s screening last week , is domestic to the Senate, and I am not in a position to speak about it; but they are within their constitutional rights. What they do is domestic to them and internal to them and it is within their powers. So, I am not in a position to speak in one way or the other about it”.‬

‪Enang, who would be conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws Degree (L.LD) by the University of Uyo
on October 31, also commended all and sundry for the matured manner the screening process has been conducted so far.‬

His words: “Let me appreciate the National Assembly Press Corps, the Nigerian press, the robust assessment and coverage of the nomination, and the screening process by the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Let me also, through you, express our very sincere appreciation to His Excellency, the President of the Senate, the Deputy President of the Senate, the leadership of the APC and the PDP in the Senate for the painstaking nature and process of screening the nominees for ministerial appointment.‬

“They have shown in the handling of the matter on the floor of the Senate, their personal interaction, the reception of the senators in the course of the consultation, even outside the floor of the Senate. They have shown the candour and the real characteristics nature of matured Senate.‬

“I want to thank them in words that I cannot describe, in words that I cannot really utter. We are very grateful to them, and we are confident that the few (nominees) that are remaining, we will be able in a not distant future conclude it, and then get done with it.‬

It would be recalled that a Port Harcourt-based organisation known as the Integrity Group had petitioned the Red Chamber, alleging cases of fraud to a tune of N70 billion against Amaechi, while he was in office.‬

‪The report of the petition, which was not considered by the Senate, angered the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators, who decided to boycott Amaechi’s screening exercise on the floor of the Upper Chamber last week Thursday.‬

‬‪So far, a total of 25 out of the 36 nominees have been screened, while 18 of them have been confirmed by the Senate, leaving 11 to be screened.‬

‪The  screening exercise of the remaining ministerial nominees continues today (Tuesday).


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