Ministerial screening: Senate withholds El-Rufai’s confirmation over security checks

The name of the immediate-past governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, was on Monday missing from the list of the ministerial nominees confirmed by the Senate.

Also missing on the list was the name of Senator Abubakar Danlandi from Taraba State and former Nexim Bank Managing Director, Stella Okotete  (Delta State).

The Senate approved and confirmed 45 out of the 48 nominees sent by President Bola Tinubu.

According to impeccable sources in the Senate, the unconfirmed nominees are currently undergoing security checks.

One of the sources noted, “Based on the findings, the nominees are currently undergoing security checks, having found some things against them.”

Another source told said that, “We are observing them and we believe that there are some things that are incriminating against them. So, we have sent their names back to the executive for necessary checks.”

Corroborating the source, the Senate spokesperson, Yemi  Adaramodu, explained that the Red Chamber confirmed 45 names, while three others were still undergoing further legislative actions.

Adaramodu said, “Forty-eight names were, sent comprising both males and females. Forty-five were confirmed; the three others are awaiting further legislative actions, which will be hinged on other arms of government, having given us all the necessary impetus to do the final screening.

“But today, out of the 48 names sent, 45 have been confirmed and approved as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This will be communicated to the President alongside the three other names which are still awaiting further legislative actions.”

It was reported that a couple of petitions, including those sent by Senator Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi West), were presented against El-Rufai during the screening.

The lawmaker representing Kogi West, during the ministerial screening, moved against the former Kaduna State governor.

Karimi, after El-Rufai’s presentations, 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 the FCT, as a minister, your record is there, and as two-time governor of Kaduna state, you did well.”


Raising up 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.”

Karimi then proceeded to lay the petition before Jibrin Barau, the Deputy Senate president, who was presiding over the screening exercise at the time.

But in his intervention,  the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, said, “This is not the place to consider petitions, we will sit with the petitions later and refer them to relevant authorities.”

Also, it was reported that there was a petition against Dalandi about a court judgment restricting him from holding public office for 10 years.

However, when asked to respond to allegations that the Supreme Court had barred him from holding political office for 10 years for lying on oath, Danladi denied such.

Copies of some petitions against Okotete in the public space also confirmed that there were several petitions against the former Nexim Bank MD, including alleged non-disclosure of assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Meanwhile, the nominee that was confirmed include Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (Rivers State), and former Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi ( Ebonyi State);  the acting Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Abubakar Kyari ( Borno State); APC  Women Leader, Beta Edu ( Crossriver state); Deputy Chief Whip of the Ninth House of Representatives, Nkiruka Onyejiocha ( Abia state); legal luminary,  Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), (Kwara State); and the President’s Special Adviser on Media, Strategy and Special Duties, Dele Alake, (Ekiti State).

Others include a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Adebayo Adelabu, (Oyo State); former Minister of Health who recently resigned from his job at Gavi, Ali Pate, (Bauchi State); Senator John Enoh, (CrossRiver State);  Abubakar Momoh (Edo State); Amb Yusuf Tuggar Maitama, (Bauchi State)  Architect Ahmad Dangiwa,  (Katsina State); Hanatu Musawa, (Katsina State); Chief Uche Nnaji, (Enugu State) Doris Aniche (Imo State), Mohamed Badaru ( Jigawa State), Ekperikpe Ekpo ( AkwaIbom State), Olubumi Tunde Ojo, (Ondo State); Uju Kennedy Ohanaeye ( Anambra State), Bello Mohammed Goronyo, ( Sokoto State).

 Mohammed Idris(Niger State), Olawale Edun ( Ogun State), Imman  Suleiman (Nassarawa), Joseph Utsev, (Benue State), and

Those on the second 19-man list were former Osun governor,  Adegboyega Oyetola;  former Kebbi governor, Atiku Bagudu; former Plateau governor, Simon Bako Lalong, former Zamfara governor, Bello Matawalle; and former governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Geidam.

Others are Dr. Tunji Alausa, ( Lagos); Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger); Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri – (Bayelsa); Sen. Alkali Ahmed Saidu, (Gombe);  Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, ( Kebbi); and  Hon. Zephaniah Jisalo –(FCT).

Also included are: Ahmed Tijani Gwarzo, (Kano); Dr Isiak Salako, (Ogun) and Prince Shuaibu Audu (Kogi), Dr Bosun Tijani ( Ogun),Tanko Sununu () Lola Ade John ( Lagos), Tahir Mamman ( Taraba)and  Dr Maryam Shetty who was later replaced with Mariya Mahmoud.

The last on the list was former Minister of State for Labour and Employment,  Festus Keyamo (SAN).