President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday withdrew the nomination of Tonye Cole, the Rivers state representative on the ministerial list sent last week to the Senate.
The President also Tuesday laid to rest speculations over the status of former Finance Minister , Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in his evolving administration, as he forwarded the World Bank chief’s name to the Senate for confirmation as a minister.
In separate letters to the Senate President and read on the floor by Senator David Mark, Jonathan urged the upper house to speedily confirm Okonjo-Iweala.
The President did not however give any reason for the withdrawal of Cole’s name.
The Senate could not resume the expected screening of the ministers Tuesday due to the senators’ closed door meeting with security chiefs over the Boko Haram security challenge currently facing the nation.
The Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba , however told newsmen that the Senate would work harder Wednesday and Thursday on the ministerial nominees’ list, pointing out that the lawmakers were worried “that the list keeps changing and we want a clearer picture”.
However, before the Senate went into the executive session Tuesday, Senator Chris Ngige (ACN, Anambra) had raised a point of order querying the propriety of the President swearing in the first batch of ministerial nominees cleared by the upper house before the conclusion of the entire screening exercise.
He said it was wrong for the President to act on a resolution of the Senate when the votes and proceedings in which such resolution was contained had not been approved.
But Senate President David Mark cut in, informing Ngige that the resolution of the Senate last Thursday in which the 14 first batch of nominees were cleared, had been backed up by a communication from him to the President.
He said it was on the basis of this communication that President Jonathan swore in the cleared nominees on Saturday.
SOURCE: THISDAY LIVE