Swear-in new ministers, Reps urge Osinbajo

The House of Representatives on Tuesday called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to swear in the two ministerial nominees recently approved by the Senate.

The ministers-designate, from Kogi and Gombe states, were confirmed by the Senate on May 3.

Stephen Ocheni from Kogi was to replace the late labour minister, James Ocholi, who died in a car crash, while Suleiman Hassan from Gombe was to replace Amina Mohammed who moved from Nigeria’s environment ministry to the UN as Deputy Secretary General.

They were nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari, whose illness and absence from office has stalled the new ministers from being inaugurated.

Mr. Buhari has been in London for medical treatment for over 60 days during which time Mr. Osinbajo has acted on his behalf.

The acting president is, however, yet to inaugurate the new ministers and has not given any official reasons for it.

On Tuesday, the call by the lawmakers was sequel to a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by Karimi Sunday, Kogi-PDP, at plenary.

Mr. Sunday had expressed concern that the states were not represented in the Federal Executive Council, adding that the council as currently constituted was a breach of Section 14(2) and Section 147(3) of the 1999 Constitution.

He said that the constitution vested the executive power in the President and that such power may be exercised directly through the Vice President and ministers.

He cited relevant sections of the Constitution to support the motion and said that the affected states had been denied representation in the Federal Executive Council.

The lawmaker, therefore, urged the House to prevail on the acting president to swear in the ministers-designate.
The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yusuff, who presided at the plenary.

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