Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, yesterday, said the delay in the submission of a ministerial list by President Muhammadu Buhari on time, will not disrupt its planned annual vacation billed to kick off by end of this July.
President Buhari took oath of office six weeks ago at a low-key ceremony in Abuja, having won his reelection in the February 23 presidential poll by defeating his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples democratic Party (PDP).
Since he took his oath of office, he has not sent any request to the Senate to approve a list of special advisers as prescribed by the constitution. He is yet to to also send his ministerial list to the upper legislative chamber.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Senate spokesman, Adedayo Adeyeye, said the Red Chamber is handicapped in deciding when President Buhari will forward his ministerial list to them.
He said they were also not constitutionally empowered to request for the list from the president. He admitted that they will wait until the president decides to send the list.
He said: “That is the prerogative of the Executive. We are not going to help them to do their job. The Senate cannot generate the list of ministers on its own.
“It is the prerogative of the president to send his ministerial nominee list to the Senate and when he does that we will consider it. That is our constitutional mandate. It is not even within our powers to even advice. We will wait until the matter is transmitted to us.
“The executive are aware of the timetable of the Senate. There is a particular time the Senate will go on recess. That being in mind they should be mindful of when they will carry out this constitutional responsibility.”
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, stalled a motion calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently submit the list of ministerial nominees to the National Assembly, before the parliament commences its annual recess by the end of July.
Toby Okechukwu, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member from Enugu State, in a motion moved under matters of urgent public importance, said it was imperative for President Buhari to quickly sent the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate.
He was still articulating his points, when Tahir Monguno, an APC member from Borno State raised a point of order.
Citing Section 147 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Monguno dismissed the motion as an “academic exercise.”
The lawmaker argued that “there is nowhere in the constitution, where there is a time line for the president to appoint ministers. This motion is an academic exercise.”
In his ruling, Gbajabiamila said “Monguno is right. There is no timeline. The president is even at liberty not to appoint ministers.”
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