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The complications around Amaechi — Sen.Amori

Senator Ighoyota Amori represents Delta Central in the Senate. In this interview, he spoke on the controversies surrounding the delayed screening of Rotimi Amaechi as a ministerial nominee by the Senate and the death of former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha. Excerpts:

By Joseph Erunke

IS it true that PDP senators are against the screening of Rotimi Amaechi as a ministerial nominee?

The Senate set a rule in line with the Constitution of this country for screening or clearing a candidate or a nominee of Mr President. So when the president, on September 30th, submitted  the first list of 21 names, Amaechi’s name was there. We allowed any member of the public who has anything against any of the nominees to submit a petition and based on this, there  were several  petitions  from people.

Those petitions were presented on the floor of the Senate and in keeping with the tradition of the Senate, these petitions were referred  to the Ethics and Privileges Committee to examine and report  back to the Senate.  Some of those petitions have been treated.

Report of the committee

The one from Kaduna and I know another one from somewhere have been treated and they have reported back to the Senate and based  on the report of that committee these  people  have been subjected to screening of the Senate and have been cleared.

Ighoyota Amori
Ighoyota Amori

But Amaechi’s case assumed this dimension because of the complexity of the petitions against him. When a nominee  is having impediments, it’s  not something  you  can rush, because  the same Nigerians will  condemn the Senate if we rush to clear him. In the case  of Amaechi, those  impediments  are there,  the petitions  have not  been concluded, the ethics  and privileges committee is still  looking  at  the  petitions. Until they finish their  work and turn in their  report and the Senate  debates  the report , we can’t proceed.

In the interim, there are still ministerial nominees of Mr. President that have not been cleared. There is still  time  and we  have even invited  members  of the public  that anybody  who  has  anything  against  the nominees, please  come and say so that by the time the Senate  finishes the work, nobody  will  come  and say  oh, why did you clear Mr B, when  so and so is against  the person. Amaechi belongs to that category.

But the insinuation really is that PDP senators mostly from the South are impeding his screening!

Southern senators  are not instrumental  to what is happening. Let the committee come out with its report then  the Senate will now know the next  thing  to do.

Do you see any link between the death of Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha and reports of alleged plans to resurrect his case in the United Kingdom bordering on corruption?

Alamieyeseigha was  a Nigerian who fought  for resource  control, he is the hero  of the Niger  Delta, he is the governor general  of the Niger  Delta and Bayelsa State in particular. He came to this world  to play his role and he did very well.

I am in sympathy  with his family, I really  don’t  know  what took him but man is born to  die. Death  may have chosen  to take  him at the time it took him. There  are  a lot of stories, whether  it was  as a result of the so called  threat  of extradition, which  Britain  has denied…

DSP  had  nothing  to fear. Of course  you have read  that the  man died a poor  man and that he has just one house  apart  from the house in his village. He didn’t  have any house  anywhere. But you see, people made a lot of stories  about  him.

I have had the experience  of knowing what the British do once Nigeria delivers any of her citizens to the UK.

They  must extract  something  from him, that is exactly  what they  used  against  James  Ibori  and so, I believe that it’s  not something  we should  pray  for. What the British are doing  to Nigeria, Nigeria  cannot  do the same to British citizens. So, Nigerians  should properly  examine  themselves.

It is cheap to just take your citizen and throw to the British  government for them  to just  harass and treat the person anyhow while you cannot do same to a British  citizen. Of course, you cannot ask a British  citizen  to be extradited from the UK  to come and face  trial in Nigeria. So, it’s  a shame on  our  part and we should be very careful, we should  not clap at it at all.

 


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