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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Lawyers commend Senate for confirming Tunji-Ojo, others as ministers – Blueprint Newspapers Limited


Foremost Human Rights Lawyers’ group, Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN), has lauded the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for rising above sentiment and blackmails and taking the path of justice and fairness, to confirm “young ministerial nominees, particularly Rt. Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo as Minister.

The Senate, Monday evening, confirmed 45 ministerial nominees, including Rep. Tunji-Ojo, current Member representing Akoko North East/Akoko North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State,  and Bosun Tijani, as sent by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for screening and confirmation.

Some groups, including a lawyer, had been pushing that the Senate should not confirm Tunji-Ojo due to alleged discrepancies on his Discharge Certificate of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Addressing journalists at the National Assembly shortly after the confirmation, Barr. Edward Omaga, President of the Network and Director of Legal Services, Barr. Denning Akori said they were at the Senate to monitor the proceedings for the group, having done preliminary investigations into circumstances surrounding the said NYSC certificate.

“One of the noblest things this 10th Assembly has done is not to condone mischiefs and blackmails. The Senate, though, gives the public listening ears in matters of national concerns, but it must also take its time to do proper investigation and crosscheck facts so the institution won’t be misled.

“The nomination of Rep. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo and the controversies around it are one that has caught our attention, knowing the calibres of people peddling issues around and calling on the Senate not to confirm him as Minister. We thank God the Senate did not listen to them. We hail the Senate for living above board.

“Rep. Tunji-Ojo, though we have not met him or had personal contact with him before now, but we understand has been a Member of the 9th House of Representatives and served as Chairman, House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He contested again in 2023 and won convincingly. In each of the elections, he submitted his details to INEC. Where were these elements then? Why didn’t they raise issues? 

“We have taken the pains of doing some background checks and our findings are pointing towards the direction that the young man is being unjustly witch-hunted, for the simple reason that some people do not sanction his nomination.

“How long shall we continue to sacrifice competence and versatility on the altar of politics and sentiments? His  nomination was purely based on sheer competence and proven capacity.

“He is an astute administrator and a young politician who chaired the House Committee on NDDC in the 9th Assembly, spareheading a very important probe that led to series of reforms in the Commission, as well as compelling the Buhari administration to constitute a new board for the NDDC.

“Even Senators described him as a brilliant mind who has consulted widely in the private sector for notable organizations such as the NNPC, PTDF, World Bank, NCDMB among others per his verifiable credentials. 

“Tunji-Ojo is recipient of many professional certifications after his academic training in the United kingdom, Rep. Tunji-Ojo is one of the first set of Certified Ethical Hackers from the Royal Britannia Training Academy in the United Kingdom.

“He was also the Deputy Director of Policy Research and Strategy Directorate of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council,” the Lawyers said.

The group vows to continue to assist the National Assembly and other institutions of Government in proper investigation and if any allegation is found to be true against anyone, no matter how highly placed, they would not also hesitate to drag such a person.

Speaking further, Barr. Omaga said, “Remember, in 2021, in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/732/2021 at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the Global Integrity Crusade Network urged the Court to order the arrest of Kemi Adeosun, a former Nigerian Finance Minister.

“We did that in good spirit, having done proper investigation of the alleged certificate forgery, even years after she had resigned. That’s to prove to you that we are not pro government. We are with the masses, but it should also be known that we would support the masses only when issues at hand are not clothed with political undertones.”

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