Chaos Ensues in Senate Amid Motion to Halt Keyamo’s Ministerial Screening

In a surprising turn of events at the Nigerian Senate, Senator Darlington Nwokocha, representing Abia Central Senatorial District, stirred a contentious debate by moving a motion for the suspension of the ongoing ministerial screening. The target of the suspension, ministerial nominee Festus Keyamo from Delta State, found himself at the center of a stormy session on Monday.

Nwokocha’s motion was promptly seconded by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of Abia-South Senatorial District, setting the stage for a dramatic confrontation. The motion was put to a voice vote by Senate President Godswill Akpabio, but it quickly became evident that the senators were sharply divided on the matter.

The Senate chamber soon erupted into chaos as passionate arguments escalated among the lawmakers. Amidst the tumult, Senate Majority Leader Opeyemi Bamidele took the initiative to call for a closed-door session, hoping to contain the mounting tension.

A visibly concerned Senate President Akpabio rose to his feet and made the announcement that the Senate would proceed into a closed session, signaling a temporary reprieve from the escalating discord.

The crux of Nwokocha’s grievance against nominee Festus Keyamo lies in allegations of disrespect towards the 9th National Assembly and accusations against the previous Assembly of corruption. Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity in the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, faces scrutiny for his handling of the Special Public Works program.

Under Keyamo’s purview, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) orchestrated a program aimed at recruiting 1,000 youths from each of the 774 local governments for a three-month term, compensating them with N20,000 each. However, complaints arose from constituents who claimed they did not benefit from the program.

The situation escalated when the Senate Public Account Committee initiated an investigation into the matter. Nwokocha accused Keyamo of evading the committee’s invitation and insinuated that the Senate sought to take control of the recruitment process.

Keyamo, who was the final ministerial nominee from President Bola Tinubu’s 48-person list to appear before the Senate, followed Mariya Mahmoud, a former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State. The 53-year-old legal luminary’s inclusion in the ministerial list came after an unexpected replacement of another nominee, further intensifying the intrigue surrounding his screening.

As the Senate temporarily retreated into a closed session, the fate of Festus Keyamo’s screening and the brewing controversy surrounding his past actions hung in the balance, leaving political observers and the public eagerly awaiting further developments in this high-stakes legislative drama.

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