By Tope Omogbolagum
The immediate past Minister of State for Labour and Employment and a ministerial nominee, Festus Keyamo, SAN, on Monday, apologised to the Senate over his perceived disregard for the ninth Assembly.
He also explained that he had in the ninth Senate apologised to both chairman Senate committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Godiya Akwashiki and his counterpart in the House of Representatives.
Keyamo said, “ I apologise to the Senate. I am sorry, I am sorry and I am sorry.”
“Regarding that programme, the account was handled by the World Bank. So, we, the head of the agencies, never saw one kobo. We only generated the list and the money was paid directly to the people’s account.
“Every detail of that account was captured and kept in a file. All the records of the beneficiaries and their data are in the ministry.”
Keyamo, who was nominated at the last minute by President Bola Tinubu, on Friday, appeared before the Senate on Monday, for his ministerial nomination.
Earlier, Darlington Nwokocha ( LP, Abia Central), moved the motion requesting the suspension of the nominee’s screening.
Nwokocha reminded Keyamo of how he insulted the lawmakers from both chambers during his tenure as a minister under the last administration.
He also brought to the fore corruption charges levelled against the nominee and how he ignored the National Assembly summons in 2020 over the employment scheme of 774,000 Nigerians recruited for the special public works programme.
Senator Nwokocha then said, “I move that we suspend forthwith screening of the nominee and wait until when this is cleared.”
The Senate thereafter witnessed a rowdy session which was calmed by the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio.
The Senate then resolved into a closed-door and order was restored to the Red Chamber.
The PUNCH reported that Akpabio immediately after the closed door meeting visited the Villa after the incident.
However, when the plenary resumed session, three hours after, Keyamo apologised to the lawmakers