It has turned out that Buhari’s ministerial nominees were never vetted by the Department of State Services (DSS) before their names were sent to the senate for the disgracefully rubber-stamped confirmation hearing that ended this week. The DSS started “screening” the nominees only yesterday and will probably conclude it today. This is an unprecedented perversion of well-established procedural norms.
Ministerial nominees are supposed to be vetted by the DSS first. The result of the vetting determines their suitability for senate confirmation hearing. But Buhari and his no-good puppeteers chose to put the cart before the horse. And it’s easy to know why: more than 80 percent of the ministerial nominees have sordid, criminal pasts.
The government doesn’t want to risk the embarrassment of being told that some nominees are criminals who shouldn’t be ministers. In any case, as I pointed out on July 28, most of the nominees literally bade for their slots from Chief Auctioneer of Nigeria Abba Kyari (who doubles as Chief of Staff to the President.)
Approving the nominees through a largely rubber-stamped senate confirmation hearing has ensured that the DSS “vetting” is only a meaningless formality. The DSS can’t recommend the rejection of nominees on the basis of the outcome of an untoward background check since they have already been formally approved by the senate. Several DSS officers are demoralized.
You can’t pay hundreds of millions of naira for a slot and have your nomination thwarted by a DSS vetting. This incoming Federal Executive Council will undoubtedly be an unembarrassed criminal enterprise. It should be properly renamed Federal Executive Criminals. -Farooq Kperogi
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