Ministerial nominees: Odimegwu, Okechukwu, Oyinlola, others on Buhari’s 2nd list


Chief Festus Odimegwu
Chief Festus Odimegwu

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday sent the second list of ministerial nominees to Senate President Bukola Saraki. This is coming 12 days after the first list was sent to the lawmakers, who will begin screening of the nominees today.

The second batch of nominees was submitted to the Senate President by the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari accompanied by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, at 4.25pm.

Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House), was also part of the delegation.

The identities of the nominees were still shrouded in secrecy last night over what highly placed sources attributed to angst in the Presidency over the leakage of the first list to the media.

However, dependable sources said prominent names on the second list include former Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Barr. Mohammed Bello (Adamawa); former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun); former Chairman of the National Population Commission, NPC, Chief Festus Odimegwu (Imo); former National President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN (Ondo); former spokesman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, Osita Okechukwu (Enugu); and former ANPP governorship candidate in Abia, Ikechi Emenike (Abia).

Others on the list include: Hadiza Abdullahi; Adamu Adamu (Bauchi), Hajia Bukar Ibrahim, the former first lady of Yobe State (Yobe); Senator Heineken Lokpobiri (Bayelsa);  James Ocholi, SAN (Kogi); Anthony Anwuka, a professor of education administration, who was secretary to the government of Imo state; and Isaac Adewole, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Others are Dan Ali, a brigadier-general who was retired in 2013; Okechukwu Enelamah, the CEO of African Capital Alliance; Claudius Omoyele Daramola, a professor of sociology of education, from Ondo state; and Aisha Abubakar.

The submission of the names was in line with President Buhari’s promise to send the second batch of ministerial nominees to the Senate for confirmation.

The Senate scheduled today to begin screening and possible confirmation of the nominees.

The exercise is billed to take three days.

Meanwhile, the Senate leadership went into a crucial meeting last night to firm up modalities for the screening. Sources said that Senator Ita Enang was part of the meeting, a move sources said was to pave the way for a soft landing for some of the controversial nominees.

Meanwhile, as senators begin screening of ministerial nominees today, it was gathered that a fresh hurdle has been designed with the Senators toying with the plan of asking ministerial nominees that have been indicted by panels of inquiry to step aside.

The submission of the list has put paid to threat of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators to abort today’s screening unless President Buhari sent the list of nominees from the 36 states of the federation in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution on ministerial appointments.

The additional list of ministerial nominees was confirmed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.

The Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also confirmed receipt of the list by his boss.

However both Enang and Olaniyonu refused to disclose the content of the list as they said it was contained in a sealed envelope which according to them, would only be opened by the Senate President when presenting it to senators today.

Olaniyonu said: “The list has been received by the Senate President. We received it at 4:24pm and the list was brought by the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari. He was accompanied by the SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Hon. Sumaila Kawu.” (Vanguard)


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