A Labour Party (LP) chieftain, Kenneth Okonkwo, has reacted to claims of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, that the appointment of a minister of state is an aberration and unconstitutional.
Naija News reported that Keyamo said this on Wednesday at the valedictory session presided over by President Muhammdu Buhari to mark the last Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the State House in Abuja.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria stated that most of his colleagues were redundant in the last eight years, adding that other ministers of state have not had the courage to speak up.
Keyamo asserted that it was difficult to assess the individual performances of the ministers of state since their discretion was shackled under the senior ministers.
He decried that original ideas developed by a minister of state are usually subjected to clearance by another colleague in Cabinet before they can be considered by Council.
Reacting to this, Kenneth Okonkwo said Keyamo is correct stressing that it is discriminatory to give any state the position against the provision of a substantive Minister for each state.
He, however, noted that it is wrong for Keyamo to have collected salaries and emoluments pertaining to the post and held to it until the last FEC meeting.
Kenneth added that the SAN is an accomplice to the illegality, hence, he should refund all salaries and emoluments received throughout his tenure.
He said, My Learned Colleague, Festus Keyamo SAN, was very correct when he stated that the post of Minister of State is unconstitutional. I can even take it further to say that it is discriminatory to give any state the position as against the provision of substantive Minister for each state.
“However, he was very wrong to have collected salaries, and emoluments pertaining to the post and held on to it until the last meeting of FEC before saying this, and this makes him an accomplice to the illegality.
“He should therefore purge himself of this intentional act of illegality by refunding all the salary and emoluments received throughout his tenure. He should immediately resign the appointment and disavow perpetually the position. This is how men of honour behave”
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