Senate Halts Confirmation of El-Rufai, Danladi, Okotete as Ministers

Following an exhaustive seven-day screening process, the Senate has confirmed 45 out of the 48 ministerial nominees put forth by President Bola Tinubu.

However, three nominees, namely Malam Nasir el-Rufai, former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Abubakar Danladi, former Deputy Governor of Taraba State, and Stella Okotete from Delta State, were omitted from the list of confirmed nominees yesterday due to unresolved petitions as well as ongoing security checks.
According to Senate President Godswill Akpabio, the decision to withhold clearance for these nominees was based on unresolved security reports that require further assessment.

On the other hand, successful confirmations include Nyesom Wike, immediate past governor of Rivers State; Dave Umahi, Deputy Majority Senate Leader and former Governor of Ebonyi State; Festus Keyamo SAN, former Minister of State for Labour and Employment; Lateef Fagbemi, SAN; Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo; Simon Bako Lalong; and Dele Alake, all of whom have been approved as Ministers-designate.

Additional names among the confirmed nominees include Abubakar Momoh, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Arch. Ahmed Dangiwa, Hannatu Musawa, Chief Uche Nnaji, Dr. Betta Edu, Dr. Dorris Aniche Uzoka, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, Ekperipe Ekpo, and Nkiru Onyejeocha.

The Senate also gave the green light for Uju Kennedy Ohaneye, Bello Muhammad Goronyo, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Muhammad Idris, Olawale Edun, Waheed Adebayo Adelabu, Mrs. Iman Suleiman Ibrahim, Professor Ali Pate, Professor Joseph Utsev, Senator Abubakar Kyari, and Senator John Enoh.

Completing the list of approved nominees are Lola Ade-John, Bosun Tijani, Dr. Isiaka Salako, Professor Tahir Mamman, Uba Maigari Ahmadu, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud Mairiga, Adegboyega Oyetola, Ibrahim Geidam, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Senator Alkali Ahmed Said, Senator Atiku Bagudu, Bello Matawalle, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, Honourable Zephaniah Jisalo, and Tunji Alausa.

During El-Rufai’s appearance before the Senate for screening, Senator Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi West), Chair of the Senate Services Committee, slowed down the proceedings by opting to present a weighty petition against the former Kaduna governor.

Senator Karimi, producing the petition from within a brown envelope, revealed that its focus was the prevailing issue of insecurity. He stated, “Mr. President, I hold in my possession a petition directed at the nominee concerning the matter of insecurity in Southern Kaduna during his tenure as governor. With your permission, I would like to read the contents of the petition.”

However, Senate President Akpabio, while declining to accept the petition, underscored that a slew of petitions had been lodged against several ministerial nominees. He emphasized that the current juncture was not opportune for addressing petitions concerning any nominee.

He said: “This is not the place to consider petitions, we will sit with the petitions later and refer them to relevant authorities. Please, take a bow and go, my brother,” he told el-Rufai.