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Ambassadorial screening: Senate clears Marwa, Nwite, Chikwe

Posted by By ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2008/02/02 | Views: 374 |

Ambassadorial screening: Senate clears Marwa, Nwite, Chikwe


After discarding the security report which purportedly indicted them, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed the trio of former Lagos State governor, Brigadier-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd), one time Aviation minister, Kema Chikwe and Senator Polycarp Nwite as ambassadors-designate.

After discarding the security report which purportedly indicted them, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed the trio of former Lagos State governor, Brigadier-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd), one time Aviation minister, Kema Chikwe and Senator Polycarp Nwite as ambassadors-designate.

The security report which almost stalled their confirmation was dismissed as speculative, vexatious and malicious by most of the senators.

According to the lawmakers, the country was as good as doomed if such malicious report was allowed to stand, even as they insisted that there was nothing in the report to stop the Senate from clearing Marwa, Chikwe and Nwite.

Senate Chief Whip, Senator Kanti Bello opened the floodgate of criticisms of the report. He said: “When I got the security report, I felt very, very disappointed. For instance, what they have in the security report against Nwite was that in 1994, he attempted to bomb NNPC depot, and that was a time when respected Nigerians rose against military rule in Nigeria . In any case, he had gone to the Federal High Court to clear himself.

“Again, they claim that in 1997 he connived with someone to defraud another person of N800,000. Constitutionally, even if one commits an offence, after 10 years, one is set free. To that extent, I feel he should be cleared. Kema’s own is the most useless security report I have ever seen in my life. How on earth can you hold a mother responsible for an offence committed by the son?

“From the report on Marwa, it was clear that our security agencies have become rumour mongers. They should have charged him to court if what they have is strong enough to stop him from being made an ambassador. We should not destroy our colleagues on the basis of mere rumours. I strongly recommend that we clear them.”

Also contributing to the debate, Senator John Shagaya, who said he voluntarily threw in the towel from the army in 1993 upon his return from Liberia following a similar speculative report that suggested that he planned to topple the Abacha regime, insisted that the report failed to meet the minimum standard of an intelligence report.

“In any serious security report, at the end of it, it would say whether or not the person is fit for a public office. But in this case, there was nothing like that in this report. I did not support the 1993 annulment, and because of my stand, there was a security report that I planned to overthrow the government. Once I saw the report, I retired from the service.”

Others, who upbraided the security report were Senators Anthony Agbo, Patrick Osakwe, James Manager and Awaisu Kuta, who advised Senator Jibril Aminu to always learn how to respect and abide by majority views.
And in the end, the Senate in a unanimous voice vote, confirmed the nomination of the trio of Marwa, Nwite and Chikwe.

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