No petition before us against Pantami, says Senator

May 2, 2021
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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Ajibola Basiru says no petition had been sent to the Senate, detailing specific terrorism allegations against the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

Senator Basiru disclosed this on Sunday while reacting to audio clips of Pantami’s alleged support for terrorism in the past that surfaced on social media recently.

“The Senate can only act based on the information at its disposal as of the time of the screening. We have not acted in any way against the law. No security agency approached us to give us any information that could indict him, both at the time of his appointment and even now.

“There is no way we could act based on social media reports. It is only the President who could decide to appoint and remove ministers. As far as we are concerned, we only hear people talk about the issue and we don’t have any facts about the so-called allegation. We don’t have any fact, we did our job based on facts available to us.’’

He further said, “Those who are talking have not pointed to a particular law upon which he ought to be removed as a minister.

“Even if the information about him now, assuming it was available then (during screening), does it constitute a disqualifying factor of being a Minister under the Nigerian law?”

Bashiru also dismissed the call on Buhari to sack Pantami based on moral grounds saying that controversy was a normal thing in politics.

He said, “All over the World, controversy is part of political existence. There is a difference between legality and political consideration which is not in the purview of the National Assembly.

“He was screened publicly and there was no objection. The exercise was aired live on the national television stations. The Constitution stipulates requirements to be a Minister and he hasn’t run afoul of any as far as we are concerned.”

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