Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Monday, rushed to the Presidential Villa minutes after a rowdy session at the Senate over the screening of a ministerial nominee, Festus Keyamo.
Akpabio was spotted at the Villa at 02:55pm with Senate Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele. The two lawmakers, who left the Villa at 03:48pm, did not address the press.
Though the agenda of the Senate President at the Villa was not yet known as of press time, it might not be unconnected to an altercation on the floor of the Senate on Monday afternoon.
Minutes earlier, the Senate exploded into a rowdy session when a Senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Darlington Nwokocha, moved a motion for the suspension of Keyamo’s ministerial screening.
A visibly agitated Nwokocha accused Keyamo of disrespecting the 9th National Assembly and accusing the last Assembly of being corrupt.
Nwokocha said during the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, Keyamo was invited to explain a Special Public Works programme but he didn’t honour the invitation.
Nwokocha’s motion was immediately seconded by his colleague from Abia-South Senatorial District, Enyinnaya Abaribe.
The Senate President subsequently 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, Bamidele moved for a closed-door session and Akpabio sustained the move.
Keyamo was a former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity under the then administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.
Keyamo, from Delta State, was the last nominee out of President Bola Tinubu’s 48-man ministerial list to appear before the Senate. He appeared before the red chamber on Monday afternoon after another nominee, Mariya Mahmoud, a former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State.
Initially, Keyamo, 53, did not make the President’s first and second ministerial lists. However, in a dramatic twist of events, Tinubu removed Maryam Shetty, a ministerial nominee from Kano last Friday and replaced her with Keyamo and Mahmood.
Earlier before the rowdy session, Keyamo thanked Tinubu for the ministerial nomination, saying he had already lost hope of making the Federal Executive Council of the new President.
Keyamo was a spokesperson for the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council during the February 25, 2023 electioneering process that produced the new administration.