- as EFCC, DSS screen nominees
- Oronsaye to be docked Monday
As President Muhammadu Buhari gets set to form his cabinet, indications are rife that immediate past governor of Rivers State and Director General of Buhari/Osinbajo campaign organisation, Rotimi Ameachi may not make the list of appointees.
Also a favourite of Buhari’s new cabinet and former head of service, Steve Oronsaye is to be docked tomorrow at a federal high court.
EFCC sources told Nigerian Pilot Sunday that the former Rivers governor is currently under investigation over allegation of corruption and money laundering, following several petitions allegedly against him.
A highly placed official of the commission told this paper that the former governor might have lost out following President Buhari’s stand that those currently under probe and facing corruption charges will not make his cabinet.
The President is under pressure from some eminent Nigerians, including a former President, to appoint ministers without further delay.
According to the source, measures preparatory to receive Buhari’s nominees are already in place by the commission and Department of State Security Service, DSS, which are to screen all the nominees of the president before he will make a form all presentation to the Senate.
The top official noted that Amaechi may not make the list because the commission started investigating him over allegation of fraud amounting to N30 billion in 2007 when he was the then speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly.
Apart from the alleged N30 billion fraud there are new pending petitions written against him as the governor of Rivers State which the commission is still investigating.
The President had promised to constitute his cabinet by September, but eminent Nigerians, it was learnt, advised that any further delay would be counter-productive.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday gathered that anybody arrested, detained, quizzed, or arraigned by the EFCC may not make Buhari’s cabinet in line with his commitment to probity and transparency.
It also gathered that the increasing numbers of arrest s and arraignments of some politically exposed persons by the EFCC and the delay in raising the Federal Executive Council may be a setback for such politicians and technocrats eyeing ministerial slots.
Besides Amaechi, one of those who might be affected is the former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, who is said to be in contention for a prominent job in the Buhari’s cabinet, but will be docked tomorrow (Monday) before a federal high court in Abuja over alleged N1.9 billion fraud.
Oronsaye, who was arrested on Wednesday by the EFCC and might be prosecuted next week, is competing for the SGF slot with ex-governors Rotimi Amaechi, and Ogbonnaya Onu.
It was learnt that Oronsaye is a favoured candidate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Further checks by this paper revealed that in addition to Amaechi, there are also petitions against ex-Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso before the EFCC. The action is said to be a plot by some politicians to abort plans to make him a minister.
Some forces and groups were said to have made a case for Kwankwaso as the next Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
Similarly, others who may have difficulty in serving in Buhari’s government in any capacity are ex-governors Timipre Sylva, Murtala Nyako, Prince Abubakar Audu and Danjuma Goje.