ABUJA, NIGERIA – There are strong indications that the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai and two other persons whose names were submitted as ministerial nominees did not scale the screening by the Nigerian Senate.
Their names were missing from the cleared list submitted to the president for appointment as ministers and members of the cabinet.
The other two are Abubakar Danlandi, a former Deputy Governor of Taraba State and Stella Oketette, former MD of former Nexim Bank from Delta State.
The Senate after the screening exercise which took place about them a week approved and confirmed 45 nominees out of the 48 ministerial nominations sent to it by President Bola Tinubu.
During the screening, petitions were presented against El-rufai, including those presented by Senator Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi West).
After El-Rufai’s presentations, Karimi stood up and told the chamber that he had a petition written against the former governor over the issue of insecurity in Southern Kaduna.
He said, “Your performance in any office you find yourself in the country has been outstanding. In the bureau of public enterprises, your record is there, in FCT as a minister, your record is there, and as two-time governor of Kaduna state, you did well.”
Raising a brown envelope, Karimi further stated, “But, I have a very strong petition against you that borders on security, unity, and cohesiveness of the Nigerian nation. And I think that the petition has to be considered in this screening exercise,” he said.
Karimi then proceeded to lay the petition before Jibrin Barau, the deputy senate president, who was presiding over the screening exercise at the time.
Responding Barau said, “I don’t know if you followed the normal process, but this is the opportunity for nominees to explain and showcase themselves, later we will come to confirmation and approval.”
Other senators commended El-Rufa’i, noting that the former governor is competent enough to be a minister.
Also, the lawmaker representing Kaduna North, Ibrahim Kalid, said he and his two colleagues from the state, as well as all the residents, are in support of el-Rufai’s nomination as minister.
Meanwhile, after making his presentation, the Senate President at the plenary refused to take the petition, levelled against the former governor and said a number of petitions were submitted against a number of the ministerial nominees.
Akpabio said, “This is not the place to consider petitions, we will sit with the petitions later and refer them to relevant authorities.
“Please, take a bow, my brother.”
There was also a petition against Danladi about a court judgment restricting him from holding public office for 10 years.
Copies of some petitions against Okotette in the Public Space also confirmed that there were a number of petitions against the former Nexim Bank, Okotete, including non-disclosure of assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau.