If the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution are anything to go by, the immediate past Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi can become a Minister without undergoing Senate Screening.
A cursory look at section 147 of the Nigerian Constitution states clearly that should the Senate refuse to confirm or reject a ministerial nominee within twenty-one working days of the receipt of such nomination by the President, such nominee automatically becomes a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
For the avoidance of doubts we quote the relevant section 147.
147. (1) There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President.
(2) Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.
(3) Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution:-
provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State.
(4) Where a member of the National Assembly or of a House of Assembly is appointed as Minister of the Government of the Federation, he shall be deemed to have resigned his membership of the National Assembly or of the House of Assembly on his taking the oath of office as Minister.
(5) No person shall be appointed as a Minister of the Government of the Federation unless he is qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives.
(6) An appointment to any of the offices aforesaid shall be deemed to have been made where no return has been received from the Senate within twenty-one working days of the receipt of nomination by the Senate.
In this case, should the Senate keeps on postponing or delaying Amaechi’s screening, reputable constitutional lawyers are of the opinion that then Upper Chamber is doing him a favour.
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