The Senate on Monday ruled that the senators from Rivers State cannot stop the confirmation of a former Governor of the state, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, from emerging as minister based on the report of a probe panel.
A probe panel instituted by the government of Governor Nyesom Wike had on Friday indicted Amaechi, some of his former aides and a former Military Administrator of the state, retired Brigadier General Anthony Ukpo, over corruption.
They were ordered to refund N97 billion to the coffers of the state government, on the basis of which the three senators representing the state in the National Assembly said they would oppose Amaechi as a minister from the state.
The three senators, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, had said Amaechi, who defected from the PDP to the APC before the end of his tenure, was not fit to hold any public office.
One of the rules of the Senate is that two out of the three senators must back the nomination of a ministerial nominee, but the Senate ruled that the three senators cannot stop Amaechi on the basis of the outcome of the probe.
The Senate said since Amaechi has taken the case to the court, it cannot be the basis for the stoppage of his screening, which commences on Tuesday.
The position of the Senate was stated by its Committee on Public Petitions, which sat on the issue on Monday.
In attendance at the meeting to explain his position was Amaechi.
The committee, chaired by Senator Sam Anyanwu, said the Senate would not consider any move against Amaechi’s screening based on the outcome of the probe panel.