Two Senators, Philip Aduda and Dino Melaye have condemned the exclusion of the Federal Capital Territory from the ministerial list submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ist News reports that President Buhari transmitted a ministerial list comprising 43 nominees from 36 states to the Senate. The list was read out by Senate President, Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday, July 23.
However, there was no nominee from the FCT in the list.
Aduda raised a point of order before the commencement of the screening on Wednesday. He called the attention of his colleagues to the “unconstitutional” exclusion of the FCT from the list.
Aduda held that the National Assembly is the “State House of Assembly for the FCT”. Further, he disclosed that his constituents are aggrieved over the exclusion.
Lawan ruled that the order has been noted and that he believes the Executive have noted it as well.
However, Sen Dino Melaye from Kogi West raised the matter again. Melaye drew the attention of parliament to Section 297 of the 1999 constitution.
Part of the section reads “the FCT shall be treated as if it were one of the states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Likewise, Melaye averred that the dictates of the constitution must be respected.
“To give constitutional tilt to the appeal by the FCT senator, it is a constitutional point of duty for the FCT to be represented,” he said.
“If the constitution had said it shall be treated as if it is one of the states and the constitution says all states shall have one Minister, I think it is very clear.”
Subsequently, Lawan submitted that the Point of Order has been again noted.
Thereafter, he proceeded to commence the screening process.
The constitutional amendment to include the FCT among the ministerial nomination list was rejected in 2017. Back then, the House had voted against the alteration.