Festus Keyamo, SAN, has 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.
He also explained that he had in the ninth Senate apologised to both chairman Senate committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Godiya Akwashiki and his counterpart in the House of Representatives.
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.
Keyamo said, “I apologise to the Senate. I am sorry, I am sorry and I am sorry.”
“Regarding that programme, the account was handled by the World Bank. So, we, the head of the agencies, never saw one kobo. We only generated the list and the money was paid directly to the people’s account.
“Every detail of that account was captured and kept in a file. All the records of the beneficiaries and their data are in the ministry.”
Keyamo, who was nominated at the last minute by President Bola Tinubu, on Friday, appeared before the Senate on Monday, for his ministerial nomination.
Earlier, Darlington Nwokocha (LP, Abia Central), moved the motion requesting the suspension of the nominee’s screening.
Nwokocha reminded Keyamo of how he insulted the lawmakers from both chambers during his tenure as a minister under the last administration.
He also brought to the fore corruption charges levelled against the nominee and how he ignored the National Assembly summons in 2020 over the employment scheme of 774,000 Nigerians recruited for the special public works programme.
Senator Nwokocha then said, “I move that we suspend forthwith screening of the nominee and wait until when this is cleared.”
Keyamo’s screening marked the final interview of all 48 cabinet members nominated by President Bola Tinubu.