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Report: Ministerial nominees to undergo DSS screening

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Report: Ministerial nominees to undergo DSS screening

By The Nation

Ahead of the screening of ministerial nominees by the Senate, the Department of State Security Service (DSS) yesterday invited all the 21 candidates named by President Muhammadu Buhari for what a source described as “security checks.”

Top on the checklist is the verification of the educational certificates of most of the nominees.

It was learnt that the Nigeria Police Force might subject the nominees to another documentation process to “ensure that they are above board.”

After the ongoing checks, a security report may be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate by the DSS on the suitability of the nominees.

There were indications that any nominee with “security challenge” may not appear for the screening.

According to investigation by our correspondent, all the nominees were invited by the DSS for security checks to “avoid any embarrassment for the Presidency” when the screening of ministers begins on Tuesday.

Some of those sighted yesterday undergoing the checks were Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Suleiman Adamu, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Amina Mohammed, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Musa Ibeto, among others.

Findings revealed that all the nominees were asked to fill Personal Identification Form (PIF) which requires data about their places of birth, schools attended, work experience and past offices held.

A top source said: “The details provided will lead to further investigation by the DSS to confirm the veracity or otherwise of what they have filled in the PIF.

“The security agencies are paying attention to the educational certificates of most of the nominees to avoid a situation where some Nigerians will join issues with these candidates.

“The essence of inviting these nominees is to certify that what they have pleaded is what they have. You will recall that some past leaders of the National Assembly tampered with their age and a few others presented fake certificates. The era of bloated Curriculum Vitae is gone. We do not want any nominee to embarrass the President in the Senate.

“We have had instances in the past where ministers could not even locate their certificates or past records of service.”

Responding to a question, the source said at the end of the exercise, “a comprehensive security report will be submitted to the President and the Senate.

“Any nominee with any challenge capable of creating image crisis for the government or unfit to be a minister may be dropped.”

At press time, it was also learnt that the Nigeria Police Force may also ask the nominees to go through a documentation process.

A nominee said: “We have just been informed that we may be invited by the police for another round of screening.

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