How DSS, National Security Adviser, Ribadu Asked Senate Not To Confirm El-Rufai, Danladi, Okotete As Ministers
*After seven days of screening, the Senate left out El-Rufai, Danladi, a former Deputy Governor of Taraba State and the female nominee from Delta State, Okotete.
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The Department of State Services (DSS) and the Office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, sent letters to the Nigerian Senate, urging the lawmakers not to confirm three of President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominees, SaharaReporters can authoritatively report.
The three affected nominees indicted in the DSS and NSA letters were a former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, Stella Okotete and Senator Abubakar Danladi from Taraba State.
SaharaReporters earlier reported that the Nigerian Senate confirmed 45 out of the 48 ministerial nominees sent in by Tinubu.
After seven days of screening, the Senate left out El-Rufai, Danladi, a former Deputy Governor of Taraba State and the female nominee from Delta State, Okotete.
Top sources at the Senate told SaharaReporters on Monday that the Director-General of the DSS and the NSA wrote to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, advising the upper chamber not to confirm the nomination of the trio.
“The NSA, Ribadu and the DG of DSS have just sent us letters not to clear El-Rufai, Senator Abubakar Danladi from Taraba and Stella Okotete from Delta. The Senate President just read it to us now at the closed-door session. He didn’t give it to us anyway,” one of the sources revealed.
“The letter from the NSA and DG DSS cited security reasons, saying the Senate should defer the confirmation of the trio for now, for national security. The senate president is holding the document sent to him tight and has not released it to anyone,” another source added.
SaharaReporters had reported how a group of protesters under the aegis of Secure Nation Group (SNG) in Abuja staged a protest on the premises of the National Assembly to call on the lawmakers not to confirm El-Rufai as minister.
The protesters, displaying placards, defied the presence of security operatives who barricaded the main gate of the building as they chanted anti-government songs.
The group expressed surprise that El-Rufai’s name was listed as a ministerial nominee despite his alleged religious colouration which the group described as dangerous to the unity of the nation.
They noted that the Tinubu-led government should investigate and prosecute El-Rufai over alleged genocidal attacks on predominantly Shia Muslim communities in Kaduna State.
Also, SaharaReporters on July 29 reported that some top Nigerian lawyers wrote to the 10th Senate demanding the immediate disqualification of Okotete, who is a former Executive Director of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM).
The lawyers from Juryman Associate Chambers are Aare Oladotun Hassan, Esq, Principal Partner/Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Epe Branch/ Executive Director, Lawyers For Justice Reform, and Barr. Myso Nejo.
SaharaReporters had also reported that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), wrote Okotete, demanding her pay slips from 2019, statement of bank account from the same period, and loans approved as the Executive Director NEXIM among others to aid in its investigation into alleged fraud and abuse of public office.
Meanwhile, in the letter to Nigeria’s upper legislative house, the petitioners requested the Senate to properly investigate Mrs. Okotete over alleged massive corruption allegations against her – round-tripping and recycling of different loans and use of various front-companies as proxies to defraud NEXIM Bank of billions of Naira and Dollars.
Also for Abubakar, SaharaReporters about a week ago reported how Danladi was reportedly barred in 2019 from contesting or holding political offices for 10 years over forgery – though he dismissed the claim.
A publication on the Taraba State website confirmed how Danladi was barred In 2019 from contesting or holding political offices over alleged certificate forgery and age falsification.
Before the 2019 general elections, a High Court in Jalingo had disqualified Abubakar Sani Danladi from contesting the election after it was found that he presented a forged document to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The case went on to the Court of Appeal before the election and to the Supreme Court after the election, where the apex court affirmed the judgement of the lower court confirming that the certificate presented by Sani Danladi to the INEC was fake and forged.
It was in the same judgement that the Supreme Court barred Sani Danladi from contesting any election until after 10 years.
The Gazette done by Taraba State had read in part; “A five-man Panel of the Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja today the 5th day of July 2019 and composed of The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria Tanko Mohammed JSC, Mary Peter Odili JSC, Olukayode Ariwoola JSC, Paul Galumje JSC and Uwani Abbaji JSC have dismissed the Appeal filed by Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi the purported APC Governorship candidate in the 2019 Taraba state Governorship election which challenges his disqualification by the Federal High Court, Jalingo.
“The Supreme Court dismissed the Appeal for being incompetent and failing to meet the requirements of the law.
“Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi was disqualified from contesting the 2019 Governorship election in Taraba state on the 6th day of March 2019 by the Federal High Court, Jalingo presided over by Honorable Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam.
“However, on the 7th day of March 2019, the Court of Appeal sitting in Yola and composed of Chidi Nwaoma Uwa JCA (Presiding), James Shehu Abiriyi JCA and Abdullahi Mahmud Bayero JCA granted an interim stay of status quo in favour of Sani Abubakar Danladi which enabled him to stand for the March 9th, 2019 Governorship election in Taraba state.
“The Court of Appeal sitting in Yola subsequently and still composed of the above-mentioned Justices later heard the Appeal of Sani Abubakar Danladi on merit and struck out the Appeal for being incompetent on the 3rd May 2019.
“Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi further Appealed to the Supreme Court against the judgement of the Court of Appeal which Appeal the Supreme Court has struck out/dismissed today for being incompetent and failing to meet the requirements of the law.
“1. The judgement of the Supreme Court against the Appeal of Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi today the 5th day of July, 2019 means that the Judgement of the Federal High Court, Jalingo which disqualified Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi from contesting the March 9th, 2019 Governorship election in Taraba state still subsist and has full effect because as it stands now; the Federal High Court judgement have not been altered nor set aside by the Supreme Court which is the highest court in Nigeria.” (SaharaReporters)