After weeks of high-powered politics surrounding the screening of the former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the former governor finally entered the Senate for confirmation.
Here are some of the titbits and drama that ensued in the Senate chamber during the screening:
Akpabio Failed to Acknowledge a Bow
Deputy Minority Leader of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, turned his face the other way when Chief Amaechi gave the customary bow toward the row Senator Akpabio was sitting.
Amaechi Recognised Rivers Senators
The three senators from Rivers State that failed to stamp the nomination of Chief Amaechi was singled out for recognition during the latter’s recognition of the Senate leadership. Some Senators erupt into momentary laughs when Chief Amaechi mentioned that one of the Senators from Rivers was his Commissioner for Finance when he was the governor of Rivers State.
“We Voted for You!”
Senate Leader, Senator Ndume, drew the irk of the PDP Senators when they were labelled “these people”. The Senate President had to apologise on behalf of the Senate leader before tension was reduced in the Senate chamber.
Prior to the apology, one PDP Senator sprang to his feet and threatened Senator Ndume that his position as the Senate Leader was as a result of the efforts of the PDP Senators in the Senate chamber.
“I Never Collected a Bribe in My Life”
If there was any statement that would ring for a long time in the ears of Nigerians that watched the screening, it was the assertion by Chief Amaechi that he never collected a bribe in his life. This statement did not only threw the Senators into amazement; it generated not a few buzz online where conversation has been ongoing.
PDP Senators Keep Mum
Following the presentation of the report on the petition against Chief Amaechi by an anti-corruption group, Integrity Group, Senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), speaking through the Deputy Senate Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio raised a point of order, arguing that content of the report of the Senator Anyanwu-led committee should have been made known to the Senate, before Amaechi’s screening.
Senator Akpabio revealed that the PDP caucus in the Senate had resolved not to ask Chief Amaechi any questions until the content of the report of the committee that investigated the petition against the former governor is fully debated.
Chief Amaechi was led into the Senate chamber at about 1.38pm by Chairman of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Odigie Oyegun and Speacial Adviser to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang.