Nigerian Senate Halts Screening of Ministerial Nominees over Alleged Irregularities

Nigerian Senate Halts Screening of Ministerial Nominees over Alleged Irregularities

On Monday, the Nigerian Senate took a significant step by halting the screening of three ministerial nominees amidst allegations of age forgery and age falsification.

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Out of the 14 nominees scheduled for screening, seven were allowed to proceed without questioning, four were thoroughly screened, but the remaining three nominees faced suspension and were asked to provide clarifications on the issues raised.

Nominee 1: Prof. Joseph Utsev’s Age Discrepancy

One of the nominees whose screening was put on hold was Prof. Joseph Utsev, the current Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Wannune, from the hometown of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume.

Hailing from Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State, Prof. Utsev’s resume indicated that he was born in 1980 and completed his primary education in 1989, making him nine years old at that time.

This information raised concerns among the senators as it seemed implausible for someone to be in primary one at the age of three.

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Nominee 2: Senator Abubakar Sani Danladi’s Supreme Court Ban

Another nominee facing scrutiny was Senator Abubakar Sani Danladi from Taraba State.

He was alleged to have been banned by the Supreme Court from holding any public office for a period of ten years.

This significant legal issue drew attention during the screening process and necessitated further examination before making a final decision.

Nominee 3: Bello Mohammed’s Certificate Verification

The third nominee whose screening was halted was Bello Mohammed from Sokoto State.

His case revolved around the verification of his Secondary School Leaving Certificate.

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The Senate sought additional clarifications on the authenticity of the document before proceeding with the confirmation process.

Senate President’s Statement

In response to the situation, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, assured the nominees facing issues that their cases would be carefully reviewed during the confirmation stage.

This statement emphasized the Senate’s commitment to a fair and thorough evaluation of all ministerial candidates, ensuring only suitable and credible individuals serve in public offices.

Unscreened Nominees

Among the list of nominees on the Order Paper, three individuals were not screened during this session.

Ahmed Musa Dangiwa from Katsina State, Chief Uche Geoffrey Nnaji from Enugu State, and Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete from Delta State did not undergo scrutiny on this particular day.

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Conclusion:

The Nigerian Senate’s decision to halt the screening process for three ministerial nominees due to allegations of age forgery, age falsification, and other issues demonstrates the significance of transparency and accountability in the country’s governance.

By addressing these concerns during the confirmation stage, the Senate aims to ensure that only qualified and trustworthy individuals occupy key governmental positions.

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