• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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National Assembly currently screening Wike, Umahi, El-Rufai (Live Update)

Nosa Igbinadolor

Ex-governors Nyesom Wike, Dave Umahi, and Nasir El-Rufai are expected to undergo Senate screening today (Monday).

Professor Utsev Joseph is currently undergoing screening.

He has taken the stage and presented his academic and personal information.

Prof. Joseph has finished his presentation and is currently entertaining questions from the Senate ministerial committee.

A member of the Senate screening committee asked Joseph questions on how to deal with some serious environmental challenges, especially water contamination and irrigation for agriculture.

Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, also a member of the screening committee, raised some observations about his biodata. The ex-banker asked Joseph to clarify issues concerning his age and academic background. In particular to justify how a brilliant man like him may have spent nine years at the university.

Responding to Senator Abiru’s question, Joseph pointed out that it was the unending Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strikes that prolonged his stay in school.

An engineering course that was supposed to last five years ended up lasting longer, Joseph said.

However, senate president Godswill Akpabio questioned his age rather comically, saying that Joseph must have been “exceptionally brilliant” for him to have been born in 1980 and graduated in 1989.

He said the nominee was “exceptionally brilliant”. He started at the age of 3 and was able to finish six years later, in 1989. It’s possible that he was a classmate of Senator Abba Moro, the Senate President said.

Another member of the screening committee, Senator Aba Moro, in defence of Joseph, said that the presumed error on his biodata may have been a typographical error. Which the nominee can explain. He said, “Records don’t lie”. He has sufficiently explained himself, as the records have shown.

Senator Moro pleaded that the nominee be confirmed especially on grounds the comes from his Senatorial District .

The Senate president said, he should take a look at his certificate and check if there are typographical errors.

The next ministerial nominee to take the stand is Senator Abubaker Kyari. A distinguished member of the 10th National Assembly was asked to decide if he wanted to say anything to the house.

As is customary, members of the Senate nominated for a position in the cabinet are given a pass and are exempted from the usual screening a non-member will go through.

“If you have anything you want to tell us, do so; if you don’t, please take a bow and go,” the Deputy Senate President said. He took a bow and left.

The next to be questioned was Bello Muhammad, a ministerial nominee from Sokoto State.

Muhammad said in his presentation that he obtained all his education in Sokoto State.

However, Senator Aminu Tambuwa pleaded with the Senate committee to discontinue the questioning as he could vouch for his competence, especially taking into account that Muhammad worked for him when he was Governor of Sokoto State.

Ignoring the plea of Senator Tambuwa, Senator Abdul Mingi asked Muhammad a question about how he would use his intellect and ability to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Saudi Arabia, especially as many Nigerians live in bad conditions.