(Videos) N52 billion, rejection of House of Reps summons, stalls Festus Keyamo’s ministerial screening

The Senate was turbo-charged on Monday when a Senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Darlington Nwokocha, moved a motion for the suspension of the ministerial screening of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Festus Keyamo.

Nwokocha’s motion was immediately seconded by his colleague from Abia-South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, thereafter subjected the motion to a voice vote but the lawmakers were divided on the matter.

The red chamber immediately erupted into a rowdy session. Amid heated argument between the lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, called for a closed-door session.

A visibly worried Akpabio rose to his feet and announced that the Senate would enter a closed session.

An agitated Nwokocha had accused Keyamo of disrespecting the 9th National Assembly and accusing the last Assembly of being corrupt.

Keyamo was a former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity under the then administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nwokocha said during the Buhari administration, Keyamo was invited to explain a Special Public Works programme but he didn’t honour the invitation. The lawmaker said ministers must be accountable to Nigerians and the hallowed chamber whose responsibilities include the oversight of the executive arm.

The Special Public Works programme was coordinated by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) which was directly under the ministry Keyamo supervised.

The Federal Government had in 2020 earmarked N52 billion for the programme to recruit 1,000 youths from each of the 774 local governments for three months and pay them N20,000 each.