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Senate in rowdy session over Festus Keyamo’s screening

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The Nigerian Senate erupted into a rowdy session on Monday afternoon over the ministerial screening of a ministerial nominee from Delta State, Festus Keyamo.

Trouble started after senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Darlington Nwokocha moved a motion for the suspension of the ministerial screening.

Nwokocha’s motion was seconded by his colleague from Abia-South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio thereafter subjected the motion to a voice vote but the lawmakers were divided on the matter.

The red chamber immediately erupted into a rowdy session.

Amid heated argument between the lawmakers, Akpabio rose to his feet, announcing that the Senate will enter a closed session.

Nwokocha had accused Keyamo of disrespecting the 9th National Assembly and accusing the last Assembly of being corrupt.

Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), was a former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity under the then administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nwokocha said during the Buhari administration, Keyamo was invited to explain the Special Public Works programme but he didn’t honour the invitation.

The programme was coordinated by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) which was under the ministry Keyamo supervised.

The Federal Government had in 2020 earmarked N52 billion for the programme to recruit 1,000 youths from each of the 774 local governments for three months and pay them N20,000 each.

There were complaints over the programme as some constituents said they did not benefit from the programme.

The Senate Public Account Committee subsequently began a probe on the matter but the then minister shunned the invitation by the committee.

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