How Isa Pantami Escaped Senate Scrutiny Despite Pro Al-Qaeda Views

April 22, 2021
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The Nigeria Senate have said that Pantami got appointed without objection as security agencies could not draw attention to his past extremist views in support of terror groups.

Report says the senate acted only based on information made available to the lawmakers by the security agencies including the Department of State Services (DSS), the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Nigerian Police.

The Minister of Communication has however being under fire lately following his link to terrorist groups.

Isa Pantami has described some of the allegations as false, what started as an unverified report about being on the United States watchlist over alleged ties with terror groups. Several Nigerians have also called for his resignation.

Isa Pantami had in videos from the 2000s expressed while he was against the ideologies of Boko Haram but supports what Al-Qaeda and the Taliban stand for.

“This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria. Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda”.

Although, the Minister has withdrawn his comments claiming “changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity”, a question continues to pop up amongst Nigerians is: How did he get past scrutiny by the senate and security agencies?

A source from the National assembly has said that in confirming ministerial nominees as it is the case with other nominees of the president, the senate sends the forwarded names to security agencies to act on.

On receiving the names, the agencies mostly the police, the DSS and the NIA will then invite the nominees for questioning while carrying out a background check on them. Afterwards, the agencies communicate their findings to both the executive and the legislature.

The source said that in the case of Isa Pantami however, the source said there was no “adverse” report indicting Pantami when he was screened as a ministerial nominee.

The source said
“After they appear before the agency, there will be a report (sent) to the relevant committee of the senate as to their security screening. So, the senate will only rely on the report of the screening”.

“There is no instance where the Nigerian senate has screened anybody without a relevant security report. We can only rely on the judgement of security agencies; we can only act on evidence from experts and security agencies”.

“None of them (the ministerial nominees) had any adverse security report that could be the basis for the senate not to screen them.”

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