The Department of State Services (DSS) did not include the past extremist views of the embattled Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami in its report to the National Assembly during his screening in 2019, a member of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Gagdi has said.
Gagdi, who is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Navy, said he was amongst those who screened Pantami in 2019.
Gagdi, who represents Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam Federal Constituency in Plateau State, revealed this on Monday while featuring on TVC breakfast show, ‘Your View’.
When asked whether the DSS sent Pantami’s past extremist views to the National Assembly during his screening in 2019, Gagdi said: “I don’t think it is true that there was (anything) in that report regarding Pantami to the National Assembly, quote me anywhere.”
“What is clear which I stand by is that this pressure which some Nigerians who are privileged to know the commitment and disposition of Pantami when he was 34, why didn’t they bring it up to the attention of the National Assembly during the screening of the ministerial nominees?
“These Nigerians that have access to this very important information, what stopped them from hitting the media with it at the time the screening exercise was being conducted? That was the time the National Assembly had the power to reject nominations of the President or to confirm nominations. If the information had gone out and the National Assembly had gone ahead to confirm Pantami, then I will accept responsibility that the National Assembly had done extremely bad.”
NaijaNewsNow reports that Pantami has been under fire over allegations of his past extremist views and alleged support for terrorist groups, especially the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Speaking further on the television programme, the lawmaker said, “I think this issue of Pantami should not disqualify our democracy.
“He (the President) has the right to either give the man (Pantami) a prerogative of mercy or to sack the man. That is his own power just as President (Donald) Trump before the end of his tenure decided to forgive criminals in the United States which was unacceptable to some democrats. It is the same democracy that we practice in Nigeria.”