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Benue Ministerial Nominee Grilled Over Age

One of the ministerial nominees facing the Senate screening, Prof Joseph Utsev (Benue State), was thoroughly grilled after an age discrepancy was spotted in his certificate.

The nominee had in his certificate stated that he was born in 1980 and finished secondary school in 1989.

The error was spotted by Lagos lawmaker, Senator Tokunbo Abiru, who stated that something must have been missing.

The Senator pointed out that according to his Curriculum Vitae, he was born in 1980 and started his primary education three years after in 1984, and finished secondary school in 1989.

The Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, then called upon the Benue lawmaker, Senator Abba Moro, to speak up as they were likely to be classmates.

Akpabio said, “He was three years old when he started his primary education. He finished six years later. He was the classmate of Abba Moro, let us also see if he (Moro) started primary school at age three.”

Moro, in his defence, noted that it was a typographical error stating the nominee was very notable.

“The discrepancy probably came from a typographical error. Let us give him the benefit of the doubt. He has sufficiently discharged himself and he should be asked to take a bow and go.”

The Benue Caucus in the Senate also noted that they were in support of Utsev stating that it was a minor error that should not rob him of his qualification.

Senator Eliaha Abbo said the issue of starting primary school at age three was not a problem given his academic attainment and the positions he had held in the past.

“I did Common Entrance Examination in Primary three and I won (passed). You may have been exceptionally brilliant like me. We are on national television, I don’t want anybody to get from here to doubt his academic attainment and integrity. That issue has been laid to rest,” he said.

Utsev, thereafter, answered questions on water resources asked by Senators Abdulaziz Yari (APC, Zamfara West) and Sani Musa (APC, Niger East).

After answering questions about what he would do if made the Minister of Water Resources in the area of dams, Utsev was asked to take a bow and go.

Some of the nominees that have been screened are; Abubakar Momoh (Edo State), and former River State governor, Nyesom Wike.

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