Nigeria’s main opposition party, the PDP, has urged the Senate to further give credibility to its ministerial screening by sending the names of the nominees to the anti-graft agency, EFCC.
The party stated this on Monday evening in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodiyan.
Mr Ologbodiyan stated that the screening exercise must have enabled the Senate to further confirm that many of the nominees presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari had corruption history.
This, it said, include individuals, “who as former governors and ministers, wrecked their states and ministries and have serious allegations of corruption, abuse of office and stealing of public funds hanging on their necks.”
“The PDP notes that the nomination of persons with corruption badges to serve in the federal cabinet has overtly established the fact that President Buhari not only condones but also explicitly promotes corruption, which has escalated into a state art since he assumed office in 2015.”
He said President Buhari had asserted that he would only nominate persons he knows “personally”.
“It therefore speaks volumes that the persons Mr. President “personally” knows and has nominated as ministers include such individuals that have been publicly indicted and known to be answering questions as accomplices in on-going corruption cases in various courts.”
The party called on the Senate to note that some of the nominees have failed to defend their corruption allegations.
“This includes a particular former minister from the North-central, who had admitted to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) of complicity in the N2.5 billion National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fraud case, still pending in court.
“This is in addition to certain nominees who, as state governors, swindled their states, fleeced workers and committed several financial crimes for which they should rather be standing trial, instead of being rewarded with official protection as ministers.
“Our party notes that the gathering of corrupt persons as cabinet ministers is a clear pointer to a scheme by the cabal in the Presidency to further entrench corruption in our nation.”
The party called on the Senate to take a cursory look into the allegations of bribe-for-ministerial-slot, making the rounds in the public space and also rise to the occasion and ensure that Nigerians are not totally let down.
The PDP also said President Buhari has not demonstrated any commitment to the fight against corruption and for that reason, Nigerians now look up to the National Assembly to protect the nation from the “excesses of the Buhari Presidency”.
”The repositioned PDP has demonstrated this determination in our nominations for leadership positions in our party at all levels.
”The Senate is therefore urged to stand with the people in resisting the manipulations of the Buhari Presidency to ensure that only persons with clean records are cleared as ministers.”
The Senate had last week commenced screening for ministerial nominees sent to it by President Buhari.
The president nominated 43 ministers.
Among the nominees were former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, senior lawyer Festus Keyamo, ex-Benue governor George Akume and 40 others.
The president also retained Babatunde Fashola, Chris Ngige and a few others who served under his first tenure.
The appointments were made across the six geopolitical zones.