The uncertainty surrounding the screening of former Governor of Rivers State and ministerial nominee, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, was laid to rest on Thursday as he appeared before the Senate and scaled the Upper Chambers’ hurdles.
Amaechi was led into the chamber at about 1.38p.m. by Chairman of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Odigie Oyegun and Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.
However, proceedings did not go without some drama. First, Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio raised a point of order, stating that content of the report of the Senator Samuel Anyanwu-led Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, over a petition bordering on allegations of fraudulent practices during Amaechi’s tenure as Rivers’governor should have been made available to senators before Amaechi’s screening.
This is even as the drama heightened with fierce opposition from PDP Senators, when
Senate Leader, Ali Ndume pointed out that the report on Amaechi had already been laid before the Senate by Senator Anyanwu, adding that copies will be handed to senators shortly. However, this elicited strong opposition from PDP senators, who then resolved not to ask Amaechi any questions.
Apparently to douse further tension, Senator Ndume noted that being a former lawmaker, Amaechi should be allowed to take a bow and go.
After taking some questions from APC senators related to his tenure as Rivers governor lasting about 50 minutes, Senate President Bukola Saraki asked Amaechi to go.
Also screened on Thursday were former Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Heineken Lopkobiri; Claudius Omoyele Daramola (Ondo); former Vice Chancellor, Baba Shehun Mustapha and an aspirant at the APC gubernatorial primaries in Kogi State, Ocholi Enojo James.
But the Senate has postponed further screening of ministerial nominees to Tuesday, October 27, when it resumes for plenary.
The screening of former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole, a ministerial nominee from Osun State, earlier billed to be screened on Thursday, has been deferred to next week.