EXCLUSIVE: How Kogi Ex-Deputy Governor employed SSCE holder as Medical Officer

Drama ensued at the venue of the Kogi State Staff Screening Appeal today, Monday 30th January, when a lady, Alalonu Vivian Chinyere Salawu, confessed how one-time Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Philip Salawu, approved her appointment as Medical Officer on Grade Level 13 Step 6 despite having only a Secondary School Certificate with four credits. She hails from Imo State.
The gory case failed to escape the eagle eyes of members of the Screening Appeal Committee, who raised eyebrows over the lady’s case.
Immediately the anomaly was discovered, the culprit was referred to the Quality Assurance Team of the Committee for further interrogation. It was before the team that the cat was let out of the bag.
She said: “The former Deputy Governor, Dr Philip Salawu, directed his Personal Assistant to write the application on my behalf and I was asked to sign. Salawu immediately recommended me for employment as Medical Officer, a directive which was immediately carried out by the Permanent Secretary.
“I was taking the salary to the wife of the former Deputy Governor’s wife through her Personal Assistant while they gave me only 15,000 naira every month. When they were about to leave government, Salawu quickly directed I be converted to a Clerical Officer and I was posted out of his office to the Office of the Head of Service.”
Vivian claimed to be married to the younger brother of Grace Salawu, wife of the former Deputy Governor.
Addressing newsmen at the Screening Appeal Centre, a member of the Committee and the Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said the Screening exercise has been quite revealing.
“We need to applaud the previous committee for doing a great job. The Screening Exercise was aimed at saving the service from imminent collapse and to save the lives of the people. Imagine a secondary school certificate holder employed as Medical Officer. They almost killed this state. For her to come to appeal shows the audacity of fraud.
“These are the people castigating government without telling the world the fraud they have been perpetrating. Governor Yahaya Bello is poised to ensure his reforms in the civil service sails through.”
It would be recalled that the State Government decided to give affected workers a window of justice to ventilate their complaints and receive fair hearing.
Cases of certificate forgery, age alteration and unexplained cash inflow into civil servants’ accounts have been discovered at the centre.
A complainant, who gave birth at the centre on Saturday, 28th January, was given a one million naira gift by the Governor to take care of the child. When the Governor announced the donation at the centre and handed over the cash to the beneficiary, jubilation erupted at the centre with shouts of “Adoza.”

Pensioner Dies During Screening In Edo

A 75-year old pensioner identified as Sunday Oboite on Tuesday died during screening at the Oredo Local Government Secretariat.

He died at about 1:20 pm after waiting to be screened for several hours. The incident caused pandemonium among workers of the council.

A doctor confirmed the pensioner dead. Some workers who met the late pensioner said he complained of not eating and taking drugs.

They said late Oboite said he had no money to eat. A woman was said to have bought Viju milk for him at about 12:30pm. As at press time, the corpse was yet to be removed.

Credit: Nation

Senate Ends Screening, to Confirm Amaechi, Other Nominees Today

The screening of ministerial nominees, which began a fortnight ago, finally came to a close Wednesday, with the Senate deferring the confirmation of former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and 17 other nominees.

The Senate’s decision to defer confirmation of the nominees stunned onlookers Wednesday, since it is not the custom of the chamber to defer confirmation of nominees once screening is concluded.

While watchers expected Senate President Bukola Saraki to commence the confirmation of the nominees at the end of screening at 3.25 pm, he only summarized what transpired during the screening exercise and thereafter announced adjournment till Thursday.

Those screened yesterday were Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Professor Anthony Anwuka, Mr. Mohammed Bello, Ms. Aisha Abubakar and Mr. Adamu Adamu.

Credit: ThisDay

Senate Concludes Screening Of Ministerial Nominees

The Nigerian Senate has concluded the screening of ministerial nominees sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Screening of nominees entered a second day this week on Wednesday, with the Senate quizzing five of the persons in the list of 38 ministerial nominees.

The ministerial nominees screened are Okechukwu Enelamah (Abia), Anwuka Anthony (Imo), Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa), Adamu Adamu (Bauchi) and Aisha Abubakar (Sokoto).

One nominee, Aisha Abubakar, who had a petition against her, was asked to take a bow.

All the nominees have been screened but only 18 of them have been confirmed by the Senate.

The remaining 18 are also expected to be confirmed at plenary on Thursday, as indicated by the Senate President, Bukula Saraki, after the screening on Wednesday.

The Senate adjourned sitting to Thursday.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Presidency Opens Up About Senate’s Screening Of Amaechi , Others

The presidency yesterday expressed happiness that former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, was eventually screened by the Senate, after three postponements due to petitions written against his nomination by concerned petitioners.

Briefing Senate correspondents over the screening , the Senior Special Assistant   to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said that there was nothing wrong in the senate’s screening process on Amaechi.

Enang, a former member of the PDP, noted that the constitution allows the legislative arm of government to regulate its own proceedings at any given time and in whatever circumstances.

He said: “They (senators) are within their constitutional rights to regulate their own proceedings.

The constitution authorises the Senate and the House of Representatives, and every legislative   house to regulate its own proceedings, including managing matters that are brought before them.

“Therefore, what the Senate did on Amaechi’s screening last week, is domestic to the Senate, and I   am not in a position to speak about it; but they are within their constitutional rights. What they do is domestic to them and internal to them and it is within their powers. So, I am not in a   position to speak in one way or the other about it”.

Credit: Leadership

Tony Ademiluyi: Amaechi; At Last

Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has always been rugged and dogged and seems to always come out of his political fights unscathed with his adversaries being made to continually lick their wounds. His ability to always bounce back after all seems to have been lost confounds even the most optimistic of his die-hard supporters.

In 1999, his position as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly was shaky as his opponent, Uchenna Okwukwu took him to court. Amaechi lost the case and it seemed the nunc dimitis had set in for the then 34 year old politician who had earlier been personal assistant to Peter Odili while the latter was the Rivers State Deputy Governor and special assistant on student matters to Rufus Ada George. Hope came for the Ikwerre born former student leader when the appeal was upturned in his favour and he went on to become a two time chairman of the Speakers forum at a time when his then colleagues were being yanked off like flies.

In 2006, he was clearly the favourite to succeed Dr. Peter Odili. He had been loyal to him for close to two decades and had paid his dues in the game laden with high wire intrigues. Like the pundits predicted, he won the party primaries with an extremely wide margin and then the unexpected happened. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on a visit to the state said his victory had a ‘k-leg’ and an overnight substitution of his name was done with his cousin’s Celestine Omehia replacing his. Odili was forced to turn his back on his loyal godson as an open or tacit support for him would spell doom for his much vaunted presidential or vice-presidential campaign which was gaining momentum at the time. Amaechi was now clearly on his own as many of his friends and allies jumped ship hearkening to the age long maxim that in the game of politics, there are only permanent interests and not friends or foes. He and his family were forced to seek refuge in Ghana when his usurper cousin held sway in Brick House, Port Harcourt. Ironically, the present Governor Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike who is now his arch enemy stood by him and was his Man Friday in his bid to get justice done. October 25 was a water shed day in the history of both the judiciary and politics as he was declared Governor even though he didn’t physically contest the elections.

His eight year was marred with controversies as he battled Jonathan till he did the unthinkable by not only defecting to the then opposition APC but led the onslaught against the agenda to kick out Jonathan by being Buhari’s campaign director.  Getting him to stand before the Senate to be screened as a minister obviously in compensation for his role was akin to getting an elephant to pass through the eye of a needle. There was a damning petition against him by the Integrity Group bordering on financial impropriety and gross misconduct while he was the state’s helmsman. His name was passed over thrice with different theories being bandied around. Some opined his grouse with Wike was what was responsible, others held that public opinion will swing against him and would make Buhari who had sold himself as an anti-corruption crusader to withdraw his name like he did to Alhaji Musa Ibeto, former Deputy Governor of Niger State.

In the end he was the first to get screened on October 22, 2015. His dressing was different from his usual attire with his making reference to it as he said he was dressed for peace. The minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio fired the first salvo when he said the PDP Senators would refrain from asking him questions as they had not had the time to study the report brought against him. After all this weeks? What were they possibly doing? Was it all planned as Amaechi was once part of them? The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume wanted him to take a bow and go since he was a former legislator albeit on the state level. His opinion was greeted with many cheers from some of his colleagues but Saraki insisted on his answering some questions.

He cleared the air on the panel report and said he was never indicted by it and got the chamber roaring when he said he had never taken a bribe in his life as he defined the hydra-headed monster of corruption. He harped on the need for a diversified economy with great attention being paid to agriculture and solid minerals. He expressed his grief at the high cost of doing business in the country and reiterated the need for more stable power supply. If made the Minister for the Niger Delta, his first task would be to complete the long abandoned east-west road as it was an economic gateway for the country as a whole. He made a surreptitious support for a state police as he never saw the Rivers State Commissioner of Police for three years while he was Governor which makes a mockery of the constitutional provision that designates the Governor as the chief security officer of the state. I expected one of the senators to ask him why he shut down the law courts for well over a year as that action casts doubts as to whether he truly believes in the rule of law. It shows his lack of conflict management skills and how would he possibly manage the corruption and crisis ridden bureaucracy which he is being touted to head?

His grilling which lasted for about fifty minutes was more of a soft landing for him as the questions were not as power packed as one would have expected since his nomination generated so much dust and controversy. Its sure that his confirmation is a done deal if his antecedents are anything to go by. He has crossed the Rubicon. We just hope he concentrates on his job and doesn’t get distracted in another needless battle with Wike as he sometimes allows his emotions get the better of him.

Good luck!

TONY ADEMILUYI

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its asociates

“One Thing Is To Screen Amaechi, The Other Thing Is To Be Confirmed” – Rivers State Senator

Senator George Sekibo from Rivers state says that it’s one thing to screen Rotimi Amaechi, and it’s another thing for to be confirmed by members of the senate. Senator Sekibo and the two other PDP senators from Rivers state are against Amaechi’s nomination as a minister:

“The issue is not either to be screened or not to be screened. The issue is to be confirmed or not to be confirmed. They are two different issues. We cannot stop him from being screened but our plea is already before the senate. I don’t want to repeat it, it is before the senate. We have said it before the nation; it is in the court of the Nigerian people. The senators have the power to agree to what they want to agree to and to reject what they want to reject because it is not an individual matter, it’s not a personal matter, it’s a national matter.”he told NTA.

Senate Removes Amaechi’s Name From Screening

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, has been expected today, to submit its report on the petitions against the nomination of former governor of Rivers State Rotimi Amaechi and Ms. Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto State as ministers.

The report of the committee, which is expected to be debated on the floor of Senate chamber, is meant  determine the fate of Amaechi.

However, a new order paper of the senate on Tuesday morning listed only three ministerial nominees with former governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi missing.

Credit: Dailytrust

Senate Defers Screening Of Rotimi Amaechi To Thursday

The Senate on Wednesday deferred the screening of minister-nominee Rotimi Amaechi to Thursday.

The development followed the inability of its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to submit its report on the petition against Mr. Amaechi.

The Chairman of the Committee, Sam Anyanwu, while briefing the senate, said that the committee could not meet on Tuesday following the late adjournment of plenary.

Mr. Anyanwu said that as at the time of adjournment of plenary, most of the members of the committee were “too tired to meet”.

He promised that the committee would meet on Wednesday so as to finalise the report on Mr. Amaechi and submit it on Thursday to enable his screening.

The development reduces to nine, the number of minister-nominees to be screened on Wednesday.

Among the nominees to be screened are Chris Ngige, former Lagos governor Babatunde Fashola and Ibe Kachikwu.

Read More: premiumtimesng

FG Orders Continuous Stringent Screening Of Cabin Crew Members

Federal Government has ordered the Department of State Security Service, DSS, to henceforth carry out stringent screening of all crew members of airlines, especially those operating regional and international routes.

This is as the management of Arik Air on Tuesday commenced critical investigation into activities of its ground staff following the arrest of one of its crew members, Mr. Chika Ugwu Udensi in Heathrow, London in United Kingdom over drug possession.

A presidency source confided in our correspondent that the federal government was highly embarrassed by the involvement of the crew in the dastardly act.

To this end, the Presidency had ordered the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Mrs. Binta Bello, to immediately write a circular to the DSS to continuously carry out strict checks on cabin crew members while all the privileges they hitherto enjoyed should be scrapped.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

FG To Begin Screening Of Degrees Obtained Abroad- NUC

The Federal Government has constituted a committee to screen certificates obtained by Nigerian students who studied abroad, says Prof. Julius Okojie, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC).

Mr. Okojie made this known while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the presentation of licences to two new private universities on Thursday in Abuja.

According to Mr. Okojie, the committee comprises members from the NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education. “When they come for NYSC, they are referred to the Ministry of Education to look at the quality of their certificates.

“Recently, the ministry decided to set up a joint committee of NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education to look at the quality of those certificates; the committee has been set up but it has not been inaugurated.

“In Ukraine, where we have many of our students for instance, it is not that all the universities are bad; some are really good but it depends on which one.

“Some of our students who attended universities in Ukraine pass through the UK and get a second degree; in some countries, you can buy a certificate in the airport.’’

He said that mere knowing that a foreign university was approved was not enough as the programme pursued by a student might not be approved.

The NUC boss had earlier expressed concern over the quality of universities Nigerian students attend in the West African sub-region, especially in Ghana.

The universities that got provisional licences are Edwin Clark University, Kaigbodo, Delta State, and Hezekiah University, Umudi, Imo State.

Credit: NAN

We Complied With Our Legislative Procedures For Ministerial Screening – David Mark

The Senate president, David Mark, has stated in strong terms that the Upper House complied with all the legislative  practices and procedures in the confirmation of all the ministerial nominees that appeared before the Senate.
This is coming on the heels of the screening of former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, last week in the Upper House which generated controversy.
The Senate president has come under knocks from some quarters as it was alleged that he put party interest over national interest.
A statement issued by his special adviser, Media, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “The attention of the office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to the needless controversies concerning the screening of ministerial nominees on the floor of the Senate with particular reference to the confirmation of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
“We will like to state without any form of ambiguity that the president of the Senate complied with all the legislative practices and procedures in the confirmation of all the ministerial nominees that appeared before the Senate.”
“It is strange that those who hold contrary views have laid claims to the tradition of the Senate that where three senators are opposed to a nominee, such a nominee is automatically disqualified and cannot be confirmed by the Senate. This is misplaced”.
He further explained that the Senate found itself in a situation where two of its traditions were in conflict, adding that the Senate president took the option available in such cases by putting the question through a voice vote.

Niger PDP Delegate Names Doctored or Altered ?

Fresh facts emerging from the People’s Democratic Party screening committee in charge of Niger state and other states within the North Central Zone reveals that all delegates screened and elected by the people in all the 724 wards and 25 local governments have been doctored to pave way for the Governor’s anointed candidates of all the elective posts in the state.

In a phone conversation with one of the PDP Governorship aspirants, said the singular act of list tempering if not promptly corrected can cause great damage and confusion in the party. The governorship aspirant who wants to remain anonymous wondered why the National Youth Leader of the party- Mai Basira should allegedly allow himself to be involved in these messy deals.

Meanwhile, a member of the screening committee names withheld who allegedly charged 1.5million naira before collecting a petition has been directed to refund the money to the petitioner

 Zainab Jacob 

 Views Expressed are Solely Author’s.