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Politics Senate defers Amaechi’s screening, dares Presidency



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The Senate again, on Tuesday, refrained from screening the former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, as a ministerial nominee despite earlier indicating preparedness for his screening in the Order Paper for the day’s plenary which is seen by many as daring the Presidency.

Amaechi was among the first batch ministerial nominees sent to the Senate by President Buhari on September 30, 2015, for confirmation as ministers.

amaechi.jpe There are reports that Amaechi is being used as a bargaining political tool by the Senate leadership, a reason his screening is being consistently delayed despite earlier clearance by the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition Committee, which probed a petition against him.
However, indication emerged on Tuesday night that the Senate will not sit today (Wednesday), as the plenary where more ministerial nominees are to be screened had been shifted to Thursday.

The Acting Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, indicated this in a terse statement, which did not state reason for the shifting of the sitting.
The statement read: “This is to inform the distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic that resumption in Plenary has been rescheduled from Wednesday to Thursday October 23. Senators by this notice are requested to resume for sitting on Thursday”.

There are indications that the postponement of the Senate sitting is to enable Senators solidarise with the Senate President who may appear in person at the Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting today (Wednesday). The Senate had dropped Amaechi’s name from the list of nominees it screened on account that its Committee which probed the petition against him authored by a group, Integrity Group from Rivers, was yet to table its report for a concrete decision. The Committee Chairman, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, in a chat with newsmen at the close of last week, affirmed that the report was ready and that his Committee would lay it before the Senate during plenary on Tuesday. However, the Committee also failed to fulfil its promise, while the Senate leadership gave no reason why it did not screen Amaechi.

However, it is believed in some quarters that the screening of Amaechi is being delayed by the leadership of the Senate as game plan to sort out the impending case against Bukola Saraki with the Code of Conduct Tribunal.