Following the two-time rejection of Ibrahim Magu by the Senate as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, President Muhammadu Buhari is considering whether to forward his name again to the Senate or appoint a fresh nominee for the position.
It was learnt that the two options would be based on the legal advice from the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN.
Buhari, who is said to have received the Senate report on the screening and rejection of Magu as chairman of the EFCC, is studying the report and is also forwarding it to his deputy and the AGF.
“I can tell you that the president has received the resolution on the matter of Magu and has forwarded the matter to the vice-president, who as you know, is a senior lawyer and also to the attorney general for advice,” presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, was quoted as saying.
He said the president would follow the two options open to him to either nominate him again or send another name, based on his consideration of the advice received from the duo of Osinbajo and Malami.
The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity pointed out that his principal would not act until he received the appropriate advice from the Vice-President and the AGF.
Meanwhile, the report also stated that senators, angered over the continued retention of Magu as acting chairman of the EFCC, are set to erode the president’s power to appoint persons to act endlessly in positions requiring Senate confirmation.
The proposal, which enjoys the bipartisan support of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members, is said to have proposed six months, but is likely to be cut down to three months at the end of Senate consideration.
A ranking senator was quoted by the newspaper as saying: “There is claim that the interpretation act has given the president the right to appoint someone in acting position for offices that he is constitutionally empowered to make appointments.
“But our dispute is, for how long can such persons act and should such persons continue to act even when they have been rejected by the Senate.
“We have now resolved on how to move the issue forward and it would be through a bill to limit the duration that persons who act in such positions can stay in acting capacity,” the senior lawmaker said.
The proposal, said to be coming before the upper legislative chamber in the coming days, is expected to get expedited passage through the Senate on account of its endorsement by the Senate leadership.