Some of the ministerial nominees which were presented by President Muhammadu Buhari might be disqualified only if they make available their asset declaration certificate by next week.
Ahmed Lawan, the President of the Senate, had pointed this out while sustaining a point of order which was raised by Lawrence Ewrudjiakpo, the Senator representing Bayelsa West at the National Assembly, during the ongoing screening of the ministerial nominees on Friday.
The asset declaration certificate is one of the conditions required for people who are to hold public offices in the country. This means that 42 out of the 43 nominees who once held public offices might be disqualified if they don’t comply with the requirement.
Senator Ewrudjiakpo had noted that the Senate rules stipulate that all ministerial nominees who have once held public office must make available their certificate of asset declaration to the Senate.
Order 121 states: “The Senate shall not consider the nomination of any person who has occupied any office contained in part 1 of the 5th Schedule of the constitution prior to his nomination unless there is written evidence that he has declared his assets and liabilities as required by Section13 of Part 1 of the 5th Schedule to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Such declaration shall be required for scrutiny by the Senate.”
The Bayelsa senator, had asked the Senate to make sure the rule was followed to ensure transparency and accountability.
He said: “Mine is an appeal to say that all the nominees that have appeared before us, very few of them have provided evidence of declaration of assets. I move that the National Assembly liaison should facilitate their submission of such declaration because before we were sworn in, we declared our assets.
“I want to suggest that the Senate takes this notice and asks them before we go into the confirmation stage to submit such requirement.”
In response the Senate President told him that his point of order had been sustained.