Ministerial nominees are expected to submit their asset declaration certificate before they are screened by the Senate.
The dreams of many nominees on the ministerial list released by the Senate on Tuesday, October 5, to scale through the screening by the Upper Chamber easily, may have been dashed with the declaration that they must produce their asset declaration certificate as part of the criteria for the screening.
In the past, most of the ministers got it on a platter as they were told to take a bow and go but this time around, the Senate says it would not be business as usual as they have laid down stringent criteria to be met including getting the approval of two Senators from their state of origin and also being profiled by the police.
According to the Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Dino Melaye, the Upper Chamber, at its closed session, agreed on hurdles to be scaled by the nominees before their eventual clearance.
“We considered a number of issues that had to do with the approach and the procedure for the screening of the ministerial nominees. So, we developed two modalities for the screening of the ministerial nominees.
The first criterion is using constitutional provisions as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as a fundamental procedure for the screening of ministerial nominees.
Section 120 of the Standing Rules of the Senate states that the Senate shall not consider the nomination of any person, who has held any public office as contained in Part 2 of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution prior to his nomination unless there is a written evidence that he has declared his assets and liabilities as required by Section 11(1) of Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Such declaration shall be required for scrutiny by the senators. What this Section is saying is that every ministerial nominee must produce proof of compliance as required by the Constitution and the Rules of the Senate.
You must declare your assets, and you must have a certificate of proof that you have declared your assets, and that you are given a certificate of proof by the Code of Conduct Bureau."