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Festus Keyamo’s Turbulent Screening Session, A Lesson For All

Mr Keyamo had a tough time with members of the Senate when a Senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District…

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WhatsApp Image 2023 08 08 at 11.23.20
Festus Keyamo

It was a rowdy session on Monday, August 7, 2023 on the floor of the Nigerian Senate during the screening of Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a former junior Minister for Labour and Employment as one of the ministerial nominees sent by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Mr Keyamo had a tough time with members of the Senate when a Senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Darlington Nwokocha, moved a motion for the suspension of his screening.

The motion was seconded by another Senator, Eyinnaya Abaribe, from Abia-South Senatorial District.

The motion was put to a voice vote by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio which caused a frenzy atmosphere.

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The douse the atmosphere, leader of the Senate, Bamidele Opeyemi intervened and asked for the Senate to go into an executive session after asking Keyamo to exit the floor and that he will be called on after the session.

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This drama on Keyamo wouldn’t have played out if not for the way and manner he acted which in interpretation, he desecrated the Senate as an institution two years ago when he was invited by the senate committee members of the 9th Senate to defend the 7,774 job initiative across the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country by the Federal Government during the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

According to the explanation by the two senators – Nwokocha and Abaribe, Keyamo accused members of the senate during his defence of trying to hijack the job programme from him.

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To this, the senators found it disrespectful and an insult not only to members of the 9th but to the Senate as an institution also an arm of government as recognised by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Having laid out their grudge on Keyamo on Monday, the minister designate was left with no other option but to apologise and beg members of the Senate.

The apology was accepted and he was screened and confirmed as a minister nominee.

The two senators must be commended for calling Keyamo to order and again for reestablishing the powers of the Senate as an institution and also as organ of government.

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This, also serve as a deterrent to who ever is to appear before the Senate must understand that the Senate as an institution is as powerful as the presidency

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