Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Navy, Yusuf Gagdi, has questioned the timing of the exposure of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami’s extremist views.
Speaking during an appearance on TVC breakfast show, ‘Your View’, on Monday, Gagdi wondered why some Nigerians who knew about his position did not alert the National Assembly during his ministerial screening in 2019.
Pantami has been under fire since the revelation of his past support for international terrorist groups, al-Qaeda and Taliban, leaving many Nigerians baffled as to how he scaled the Department of State Services and NASS screening process before his appointment.
Amidst the controversy and backlash, a former Assistant Director with the DSS, Dennis Amachree, during an appearance on PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable on April 22, clearly stated that the DSS had intel on Pantami. He said, “I can tell you that in Pantami’s case, we have it.”
Amachree, however, added that Pantami must have sailed through NASS screening due to a lot of factors including federal character balancing and religion.
“But there is a political angle to it. When somebody is being appointed, if the security agencies see that there is something wrong with his name, they will send it to the appointing agency.
“The appointing agency will now decide amongst other variables either religious variable, federal character balancing variable, or political variable and say that, ‘Oh, yes, we know that this guy has this and that but let’s appoint him.
“So, the political decision is not taken by the SSS. Even when you go to the Senate for confirmation…”
However, in response to Amachree’s comments, Gagdi, who said he was amongst those who screened Pantami in 2019, was quick to deny the claims, adding that the NASS had no intel regarding the embattled minister’s pro-Taliban affiliations in the report sent to the National Assembly.
Gagdi said, “I don’t think it is true that there was (anything) in that report regarding Pantami to the National Assembly, quote me anywhere.”
“What is clear which I stand by is that this pressure which some Nigerians who are privileged to know the commitment and disposition of Pantami when he was 34, why didn’t they bring it up to the attention of the National Assembly during the screening of the ministerial nominees?
“These Nigerians that have access to this very important information, what stopped them from hitting the media with it at the time the screening exercise was being conducted? That was the time the National Assembly had the power to reject nominations of the President or to confirm nominations. If the information had gone out and the National Assembly had gone ahead to confirm Pantami, then I will accept responsibility that the National Assembly had done extremely bad,” the lawmaker added.
The Punch however noted that the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, has been unreachable for comments regarding the matter.
“I think this issue of Pantami should not disqualify our democracy,” Gagdi continued on the TV programme, adding that Buhari has a right to sack or retain Pantami in his cabinet.
“He (the President) has the right to either give the man (Pantami) a prerogative of mercy or to sack the man. That is his own power just as President (Donald) Trump before the end of his tenure decided to forgive criminals in the United States which was unacceptable to some democrats. It is the same democracy that we practice in Nigeria,” the lawmaker stated.
Casey Stoney resigns as United female head coach
Nicki Minaj’s comeback picture crashes Crocs website
Museveni and nine other sit-tight African rulers
Eid el-Fitr: Tinubu urges Muslims to be better
Museveni sworn in for 6th term as Uganda’s president
PDP salutes Ekweremadu at 59
Liverpool’s Van Dijk to miss Euro 2020 tournament
Nigerians fume as Fela loses out in 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction
FACT CHECK: 7,200 penises were NOT shipped from Nigeria to China
Baba Ijesha: Mum installed CCTV camera after suspecting sexual abuse
#PantamiResign: Nigerians ask communications minister to resign over alleged support for Taliban, Al-Qaeda
Man declares intention to marry Lagos amputee hawker after she gets N14m support
My daughter wasn’t suicidal – Father Of AKA’s fiancée at funeral service
Seyi Edun rocks baby bump in ‘thanksgiving’ video
PHOTOS: Lady, who begged for ₦5,000, allegedly refuses to refund N.5m mistakenly sent her by Dubai-based Nigerian
Twitter Snub: ‘Lai Mohammed, Adamu Garba sealed Nigeria’s fate with threats to CNN, Twitter’
VIDEO: Please don’t cry, we lost a champion – Adeboye speaks on son’s funeral
VIDEO: Suspected kidnapper takes police to location where weapons are hidden
VIDEO: Pastor Adefarasin advises Church members to have Plan B, escape route out of Nigeria in case…
Buhari sing, dances to ‘Don’t Worry’ by legendary Bob Marley in video shared by his aide
VIDEO: Commuters, motorists abandon vehicles during Mile 12 traffic robbery
VIDEO: How Ogun police officers harrassed, extorted me of N153,000 – LASU student
VIDEO: Policemen, Okada riders clash in Ogba
VIDEO: How Dare Adeboye celebrated last moments with family on 42nd birthday
News23 hours ago
Saudi declares Thursday Eid celebration day
Breaking23 hours ago
JUST IN: Manchester City win 2020/2021 Premier League title
News21 hours ago
Eid-Ul-Fitr: Police deploys 3,410 officers for celebration in Edo
Breaking23 hours ago
JUST IN: Residents flee as gunshots, explosion rock Maiduguri
General19 hours ago
PHOTOS: Oyedepo consoles Adeboye’s family, RCCG members in closing sermon at son’s farewell service
General20 hours ago
PHOTOS: Boko Haram distributes cash, Ramadan handouts to Borno, Yobe villagers
Entertainment9 hours ago
Iyabo Ojo drags Yomi Fabiyi in his comment section
Entertainment18 hours ago
Shehu Sani, other Nigerians salute late Bob Marley on 40th anniversary