There was a mild drama on Friday when the senator representing Kogi West, Mr Dino Melaye, asked the Director of Strategic Communication for the All Progressives Congress Campaign Council, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), who is a ministerial nominee, to recite the second stanza of the national anthem.
The scene played out on the floor of the Senate when Keyamo, a ministerial nominee from Delta State, appeared for screening.
While asking the nominee questions during the screening, Melaye started by describing Keyamo as his good friend and that their relationship dated back to years.
TheCable reported the senator as saying, “I want to start by congratulating my friend, Festus Keyamo. I just want to start by saluting your intellectual sagacity and from your CV, you have practised law in and out and this practice has been so recognised by you getting the highest title any lawyer can earn in this country, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and your being a prosecutor for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for so many years.
“I want to ask you as a qualified lawyer and a man who is even qualified for the office of the Attorney General of the Federation. Peradventure the President sends you to the Ministry of Justice with all your experiences, do you think in the last four years, the power of the Attorney General met these three conditions: public interest, interest of justice and need to prevent abuse of legal process?”
After the questions, Melaye then asked Keyamo to recite the second stanza of the national anthem.
“I just want to say that as a versatile minister, I know you to be intellectually mobile, you recite the second stanza of the national anthem,” he said.
However, the senator’s request was met with a thunderous “no.” But Melaye stood his ground even after his microphone was switched off.
Shouting on the top of his voice, the Kogi lawmaker said, “Mr Chairman, screening as it has been described is meant for us to screen the candidates…”
But the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, overruled Melaye.
“That is not a question. So you have asked about two questions. You have asked very serious questions, so you can disregard the other part,” he said.
Meanwhile, Keyamo at the screening has pledged to unbundle the Supreme Court of Nigeria if appointed as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
Keyamo, who is also a board member of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, said the apex court was congested with frivolous and scandalous cases that should not find their way to it in the first instance.