Magu: Senate May Approach Supreme-Court

The Senate leadership may be heading to the Supreme Court for the proper interpretation of section 171 of the 1999 constitution, which has been the major factor in the confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

Twice has the senate rejected Magu on the ground that he lacks integrity and could be a liability to the anti-graft agency, yet President Muhammadu Buhari had retained him for the position.

The upper chamber cited section 171 of the constitution to exercise such power to confirm or not to confirm.

However, the aspect of the constitution had become a subject of debate in the legal circle as some Senior Advocates argued that President Muhammadu Buhari did not need senate confirmation to retain Magu as the substantive EFCC Chairman.

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption Professor Itse Sagay argued that Magu could remain in acting capacity for as long as the president wants him in that position.

Also, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN a human right lawyer said that the senate power to confirm Magu had some limitations.

Using the same section 171 (4) Falana said that extra-ministerial appointees like Magu do not require senate confirmation but only the ambassadorial nominees.

To get out of the debacle, the senate said that it might approach the Supreme Court to show that the section does not preclude the National Assembly from making laws that would subject certain appointments to Senate confirmation.

“So we can go and advance all the arguments at the Supreme Court and get it settled or just amend the constitution to avoid wasting our time.”

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