Ministerial Screening: Akpabio didn’t visit Villa over Keyamo —Senate spokesman

Akpabio and Bamidele 

Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu, says Senate President Godswill Akpabio did not visit the Presidential Villa on Monday because of the uproar generated in the red chamber over the screening of a ministerial nominee, Festus Keyamo.

Adaramodu, a lawmaker representing Ekiti South Senatorial District in the 10th National Assembly (NASS), made this known on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.

According to him, the Senate already planned a visit to the Villa before the altercation on the floor over Keyamo’s nomination.

Adaramodu said Akpabio’s visit to the Villa on Monday was on the coup in Niger Republic.

He said, “The president (Akpabio) stood up yesterday (Monday) to go to the Villa, not because of Festus Keyamo; not because of any screening, (and) not because the Villa invited the Senate President to come and ask questions or to come and do one favours or the other. No; there had been a prior invitation of the Senate President and the leadership of the Senate to the Villa based on the security issues, especially the coup in Niger Republic.”

The Senate spokesman said Akpabio was not summoned to the Villa because of Keyamo.

He said Keyamo was just one of the 48 ministerial nominees of the president and “one nominee cannot generate such a concern for the Villa to invite the Senate.”

The Senate had erupted into a rowdy session on Monday when a Senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Darlington Nwokocha, moved a motion for the suspension of Keyamo’s ministerial screening, saying that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) disrespected the 9th National Assembly (NASS) as then Minister of State for Labour and Productivity under the then administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nwokocha’s motion was immediately seconded by his colleague from Abia-South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Akpabio thereafter subjected the motion to a voice vote but the lawmakers were divided on the matter.

The red chamber immediately erupted into a rowdy session. Amid heated argument between the lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, called for a closed-door session.

A visibly worried Akpabio rose to his feet and announced that the Senate would enter a closed session.

Minutes later, Akpabio and Bamidele were spotted at the Villa. The two principal lawmakers did not leave until about an hour later. They also did not address pressmen on the mission of their visit.

After the visit to the Villa, the Senate reconvened for the screening of Keyamo, the last of President Bola Tinubu’s 48-man ministerial list. Keyamo apologised to the lawmakers and was cleared and confirmed.
~Channels tv

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