Festus Keyamo, SAN, apologised to the Senate on Monday evening over his failure to honour invitations by the relevant legislative committee overseeing the Ministry of Labour and Productivity where he had served as a minister under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
This followed a rowdy session at the Senate during his ministerial screening earlier in the day where Senator Darlington Nwokocha (Abia Central) accused Keyamo of disrespecting the Ninth National Assembly and accusing the last Assembly of being corrupt.
Tendering an apology “without reservation”, the former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity provided more insight into the circumstances.
“Maybe it was as a result of the lack of knowledge of the fact that this matter had long been resolved between us and the members of that committee,” he told the Senate with a more sombre disposition than hours earlier.
“Subsequently, there were so many hearings – budget defence and all that – we attended under a very convivial atmosphere. So, the apology is without reservation. I apologise.”
Earlier, Nwokocha moved a motion for the suspension of Keyamo’s ministerial screening.
The senator argued that during the Buhari administration, Keyamo was invited to explain a Special Public Works programme and did not honour the invitation.
Responding to the issues that had resulted in his summon, the lawyer stated that every single payment to the beneficiaries under the public works programme was paid directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the beneficiaries.
He further explained that the register with the names, account numbers and Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) of the beneficiaries was at the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and could be verified.
Senator Godiya Akwashiki (Nasarawa North) who chaired the committee on Labour in the NInth Senate appealed to the Senate to allow Keyamo to bow and go, having apologised.
Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South) moved a motion that the Senate accept the Keyamo’s apology, which the Senate accepted and the ministerial nominee exited the stage.
Keyamo’s screening marked the final interview of all 48 cabinet members nominated by President Bola Tinubu.