Lopsided Ambassadorial List: Senate Meets Foreign Affairs Minister, SGF Today | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lopsided Ambassadorial List: Senate Meets Foreign Affairs Minister, SGF Today

Posted: Jul 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rotimi Akinwumi

Abuja – The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs will on Tuesday meet with Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama , Minister of Foreign Affairs, over alleged irregularities in the ambassadorial list recently sent to the Upper Chamber for approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Babachir Lawan, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), is also expected to be at the meeting to provide needed insight into the issue.

As at Monday, the attendance of the Foreign Affairs Minister was confirmed by the committee while it could not be expressly confirmed if the SGF will be in attendance.

The Senate had shortly before it embarked on Sallah break three weeks ago, summoned the Minister and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal, to explain why some states of the federation were omitted in the list of ambassadorial nominees pending confirmation in the Senate.

Onyeama and Lawal were also expected to make explanations to the lawmakers on perceived irregularities in the list of the nominees, including alleged selection of some junior officers in Foreign Service for ambassadorial appointment instead of their superior counterparts.

The Senate made the resolutions sequel to its consideration of a point of order, raised by Senator Joshua Dariye, who came under Orders 42 and 52.

However, the two public servants did not meet with the Senate Committee as scheduled before the National Assembly went on the short recess.

Dariye had while making his submissions, observed that the ambassadorial list was full of omissions and irregularities, and should be corrected before the Senate could consider it for approval.

He said that in his state, Plateau, those nominated by the President were not qualified, as senior career officers in the Foreign Service from the state were left while their junior counterparts were picked.

He further said, “given the important role played by ambassadors, due diligence must be given and there should be a criteria to nominate qualified eminent Nigerians.”

In his prayer, which was adopted by the Senate, Dariye said, “we should direct that the minister for foreign affairs, and the SGF should appear before the  Senate committee on foreign affairs to explain the omissions and irregularities, and the processes by which some of these names came about”.

Senator Olusola Adeyeye from Osun State  who seconded the point of order, called for the intervention of the Senate in view of numerous petitions, which the Senate had received in respect of the matter.