Following reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had sent some names to the Department of State Service to be screened for ministerial positions, there are strong signs that the secret police may have actually completed the screening processes.
It will be recalled that the President had promised to name his cabinet this month.
Among the list of those who were said to have been screened by the DSS are, former presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi, Femi Falana (SAN), a former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former finance commissioner in Lagos State, Mr. Wale Edun and Former Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Limited, Mr. Festus Odimegwu.
Others in the list are, Abubakar Malami (SAN), former Chief of Army, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazu (retd.); an former chief executive of the Federal Inland Revenue, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okaru;.
It was learnt that the above-mentioned nominees had appeared before the DSS for their screening at the weekend.
It is touted that Femi Falana is favoured to be the next Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, though the President is leaning towards Abubakar Malami. The choice of Falana is seen as a image booster as the President had jailed him 30 years ago. Falana name is said to have been pushed down Buhari’s throat by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Bola Tinubu.
The Herald further gathered Prof Pat Utomi is being considered to emerge as the minister of Economic Planning and Mr Yomi Edun as the Minister of Finance. Their choice is considered as necessary based on their precedents.
Utomi is a worldwide known economist and has the full knowledge of what it take to the country out of its current troubles. In a similar vein, Wale Edun was one of the brains behind the increase in Lagos revenue as the commissioner of finance under Tinubu.
It was learnt that Odimegwu, was nominated by the President. He fell out with former President Goodluck Jonathan when he openly criticised the Federal Government. He had resigned and then travelled to the United States.
Two weeks to the March 28 presidential election, however, Odimegwu openly supported Buhari and called him ‘the best man for the job.’ Odimegwu is also close to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Oyinlola, a one-time secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, defected to the APC shortly before the Osun State governorship election and he is a close associate of Obasanjo. The former governor, name was submitted to Governor Rauf Aregbesola – as a ministerial nominee – having been picked by his senatorial district.
It was gathered that no fewer than 20 nominees had been so far screened by the DSS operatives since the exercise started.
It was learnt that the screening process by the DSS involved conducting background checks on the careers of the nominees and operatives were also checking for records of the nominees with anti-graft and security agencies.