Senate Forecloses Reconsideration of Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Boss

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  •   Saraki writes president on his rejection

Omololu Ogunmade  and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

Based on extant Senate rules, the upper legislative chamber will  not reconsider Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should he be re-nominated.

Citing Senate Rules, Order 131, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) said President  Muhammadu Buhari could not validly re-nominate Magu for the job again as the provision would not allow members consider his nomination, having been rejected at a senate session.

Order 131 of the Senate Rules states that, ”nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session or within 21 working days in the case of ministerial nominees shall be returned by the Clerk to the National Assembly to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and shall not again be made to the Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

Magu was rejected by the Senate after he was screened on Wednesday – exactly three months  after the parliament first rejected him at its December 15, 2016 closed-door session, citing damning corruption allegations against him by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Buhari had on January 24, 2017, represented Magu for confirmation, noting he had been cleared of the allegations of corruption leveled against him.

Magu was however considered for screening the second time because he had not been rejected at an open session. His rejection of December 15, 2016 was done at an executive session, a move which generated criticisms and apparently prompted Senate’s decision to accept his nomination the second time.

Following divergent views on the rejection of Magu by the Senate and strident calls in some quarters on the President to re-nominate him or continue to keep him in acting capacity,  Melaye, in a statement issued Saturday, urged the President to consider nominating a fresh candidate with the qualifications, experience, integrity, knowledge and temperament to head the EFCC.

“Those suggesting to the President that after failing to scale the confirmation process twice, the President should leave Magu to be acting, are only recommending violation of the law, disrespect for due process and perpetration of illegality. All these will only undermine democracy and constitutionalism in our country,” he said.

“Those drafters of the law who made the provision that the Senate should confirm the nomination of the EFCC chairman did not make any mistake and nobody should observe the law in the breach by getting a person into that office who has not been confirmed. Magu is not greater than the law creating EFCC. Magu is not the last messiah. He can’t be the only competent person for the job out of 170 million Nigerians. Should he voluntarily decline the appointment today, will EFCC fold up?”, Melaye queried.

Meanwhile, the Senate has formally communicated last Wednesday’s rejection of the nomination Magu as the substantive chairman of EFCC to President Buhari.

THISDAY checks on Saturday revealed that the correspondence to the President  was signed by Senate President Bukola Saraki on Wednesday after the plenary where Magu was screened and rejected.

THISDAY was also informed that the correspondence was handed to Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate) Matters, Senator Ita Enang, for onward delivery to the President on Thursday, March 16.

An impeccable source who did not want to be named told THISDAY that votes and proceedings of Wednesday, March 15, 2017 were transmitted to the president in accordance with legislative practice.

“On the screening of EFCC nominee, Ibrahim Magu, the President of the Senate has sent a communication to President Muhammadu Buhari. In compliance with standard of legislative practice,  the President of the Senate has forwarded the votes and proceedings of Wednesday to the president because the standard of legislative practice is that every request sent to the National Assembly by the president when completed, has to be reported back to the president,” the source said.

The source however, declined to state the exact date the transmission was made.

On Thursday, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the presidency was yet to receive  any communication on Magu’s rejection.

When contacted on the phone last night, Enang told THISDAY that though there had been a communication between the Senate and the Presidency, he was not privy to the content of the letter. “Yes, there has been a communication between the Senate and the Presidency but the content there-of is privileged,” he stated.

Following his re-nomination by the President, Magu was screened last Wednesday but was again rejected by the senate, citing a second DSS report which showed that he “failed integrity test.”

Consequently, the Senate said Magu should henceforth cease to act as the commission’s chairman. It also advised Buhari to send the name of a fresh nominee to the parliament for consideration.

While announcing Magu’s first rejection on December 15, 2016, after about two hours of closed door meeting, Senate’s spokesman, Sabi Abdullahi,  had cited unfavourable security report as the reason for Magu’s rejection.

  • Darlington

    Magu has lost the impetus and constitutionality to continue as EFCC Boss. Buhari should nominate fresh candidate for the job.

    • abubakar yussif

      U are as stupid and damned as dino melayeye bcos u don’t even understand the word neither eii so these are our senators

    • Rotimi

      Story to the gods!

    • muhammed Ali

      Who say so? In fact it is an open door to act as leader and stop playing with kids gloves with the criminal elements in senate. They want Buhari to appoint ibori.

      • OkonOnonokpono

        I think that Muhammed Ali should be appointed EFCC boss. Daft heads!

  • Adebiyi Olufemi Olukayode

    Am I the one having problems with English language here?

    “Order 131 of the Senate Rules states that, ”nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session or within 21 working days in the case of ministerial nominees shall be returned by the Clerk to the National Assembly to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and shall not again be made to the Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”

    Neither confirmed not rejected means that any candidate that is not confirmed or not rejected and does not mean not confirmed or rejected… Magu was rejected… so the president can represent him as many times as legally possible

    • Akin Malaolu

      Your interpretation is not same with what you read please.
      Open session screening of magu has been properly done and his rejection foreclosed representation for good.
      What you quoted were for those whose rejection were not done through open session of the senate

      • Rotimi

        So, sir, why was the or his first appearance not done in open session? Is there no bias or fear there; kind of?

        Do you think all of these, things are done right by the Senate?

        • Magnus0071mg

          Act not intent is the issue Any other thing is conjecture outside the realm of the rule

      • moribund9ja

        Re-” neither confirmed nor rejected”…….

        1. Neither confirmed… meaning when he has been screened but not confirmed..

        2. nor rejected…. meaning when he has not been screened at all ( that is didn’t come for screening process for whatever reason)

        The non-confirmation must take place in the full session of the Senate….

        …and a nominee must present himself for screening process within 21 working days after which he will no longer be screened (hence nor rejected).

        Under the above circumstances the person shall not be presented again by the president for consideration.

        In this instance, Magu has fallen into that category having been screened in the session of the Senate but was denied confirmation.

        Thank you.

    • Rotimi

      Hahahahahahahaha lol, I was mulling if I did not read it right too. Hahahahahahaha lol. Nice one. You know atimes, I wonder if the senate, ok Senator Melaye thinks everybody is daft or something. Between him, Hameed Ali and Magu, abeg who garrulous pass? lol. Mine i that, isn’t this the second time Magu is appearing before them? hahahahaha lol. We don enter one chance with these crop of leaders hahahahah lol. What a pity!!!

    • Noble

      I wonder oo. Again was Magu for a minister? Those who make the law can’t even interpreted the law. Wahal dey.

    • John Paul

      Excellent point

      The bottomline is that this administration should not allow the selfish, self centered, self consumed and very corrupt members of the Federal Legislature to derail the war against corruption, just as they did during the Yar’ Adua era. The effect of which was devastating during the tenure of Goodluck Jonathan – the most corrupt administration in the history of Nigeria

      The lust for power of Saraki and Ekweremadu is one of the primary causes of our recession in Nigeria today. Saraki emerged as senate president through undemocratic means. And Ekweremadu’s insistence on becoming deputy senate president in an APC majority senate single handedly killed PDP

      If Ekweremadu had some self pride, class and integrity, Ekweremadu could have easily been the most visible face of the opposition – PDP . And this in turn would have worked out well for PDP and our democracy

      But this did not happen because Saraki and Ekweremadu gave into mediocrity

      The selfish senate has to remember that an evil wind blows no man no good. If the corruption of 2011-2013 comes back to Nigeria, it will cause a devastating effect to our development. And even their children that come back on vacation from their base outside Nigeria, from time to time, will not be able to visit Nigeria again as a result of the devastating effects of corruption

      PMB should beware of people that are trying to kill one of his most important legacies – the war against corruption

      • Shehu

        The Legisslature is created for a purpose.
        The report that indited Magu was produced by DSS.
        The Executed alone does not constitute the govt of Nigeria.
        The Legisslature and judiciary are the other arms and none is subordinate to the other.
        Since Magu has been rejected ,the president should present another candidate.
        Let us learn to obey the law.

        • John Paul

          Other than constituting a clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress and taking home, more than fair share of our resources, as salaries and emoluments, it is not certain what purpose our own legislature was created for

          When politicians were looting our resources from the $6.8 billion fuel subsidy fraud, to the $2.1 billion ATM Dasuki fraud, to the mismanagement of $16 billion in the power sector, our useless legislature did not protect us

          Between 2015 and today, the only significant thing that Nigeria has heard from its legislature, is their failure to confirm Magu as chairman of the EFCC

          If Nigeria had no legislature at all, had a part time legislature or only one house – senate or house of reps – we would have made more progress and saved more money than we are doing today

          • musa aliyu

            Gbam!!!!

        • musa aliyu

          No ‘law’ will be obeyed as far as Magu is convened. HE MUST BE THERE!

    • Larrybobo

      My brother,

      Order 131 is a follow up provision as a caveat on an earlier order.
      1. The earlier order mandates the senate to either confirm or reject an appointee in an open session of the senate. Communication of the senate’s decision is to be made to the president. A rejected candidate cannot be represented.

      2. The initial rejection of Magu was done in an executive session not an open session. This misnomer enabled the president to represent him for confirmation since his rejection was not in an open session.

      3. But it is possible that an appointee may not present himself/herself for confirmation in the open session of the senate, especially if he feels he might not be confirmed. Therefore, section 131 is to block that lacuna. Neither confirmed nor rejected means, if he didn’t present himself for screening, there’s no way to confirm or reject him. That is where the “Neither confirmed nor rejected” came from. In this case, his nomination shall be returned and cannot be represented.

      4. “or within 21 working days in the case of ministerial nominees” means that the senate may take their time to notify the president in case of other appointees. However, for Ministerial nominees, they are obliged to notify the president within 21 days from the date of the open session screening. This is to ensure that the senate does not unduly withhold their decision for such important nominations as that of the Minister of the Federal Republic.

      3.

    • musa aliyu

      Didn’t U hear the Dundee faked a degree in geography? We’re doomed with gangsters as “leaders’

  • Edafiyovwe Rukevwe

    Nigerian constitution and all other rule books like the senates rule book This idiot is making refrence to are all opaque and out of date for this modern times we live in as a result there is no provission for core arguments both in court and in the national assembly. Its important to note that the so called rule book was ammended in 2015, just two years ago and the drafters where only interested in pursuing their own interest rather than collective goals of making the institution stronger ” The National Assembly” The only solution to this country is to allow academics and technocrats be in charge of leadership position, from grassroots to the presidency

    • Rotimi

      I agree to an extent. But any of these you recommended are there but corruption is making it look like only half baked of them are over there at the chambers. We just need men with human face for 21st century progressive Nigeria.

      • Edafiyovwe Rukevwe

        I agree with you completely

    • papred06

      But it won’t happen because the illiteracy rate in Nigeria is still relatively high. People are looking for messiahs and will willingly pick unenlightened half educated politicians. Also, the educated ‘technocrats’ hardly make it to the final stages of primaries due to meddling of people who have hidden motives. Soludo found this out a couple of years ago when he contested APGA guber primaries in Anambra.

  • Don Franco

    If PMB doesn’t hurriedly find a replacement for Magu; defense lawyers will start filing motions to dismiss criminal charges on their clients on the basis of the EFCC Chairman being “unconfirmed” , and unqualified to undertake the prosecution of their clients before courts of competent jurisdiction. This will lead to justice being denied by way of undue delays of court processes. Dis Nigeria sef…

    • Rotimi

      How? Was he confirmed before taken those there to court? What laws says so? Ha he personally appeared in court before? Naim be Rotimi & Co?

  • Akin Malaolu

    Hhmmmmmm end of the road.

  • Sarah

    Regarding Senate Orders:
    1) Rules/Orders of the Senate are to regulate only that body. Not any other legislature and certainly NOT the executive.
    2) The order cited talks specifically about ‘… Neither confirmed nor rejected..’, in which case the President can assume such nominee is confirmed by default.
    Magu was rejected so this order would not apply even if it were binding on the executive in the first place. Magu cannot be classified as ‘..neither confirmed nor rejected..’.
    Please note that “..nor..” means NONE of the two possibilities occured. That Order CANNOT apply if any one of the possibilities occurs. In this case the rejection occured.
    In any case this is what Sen Ndume vs Sen Melaye will fight over within their chamber.
    The order CANNOT in any way constrain the executive
    Lawmaker know your laws

    • Rotimi

      Thanks ma. I got you clearly. That whether open session or in camera right?

    • Noble

      God bless you

    • Larrybobo

      Sarah,

      Order 131 is a follow up provision as a caveat on an earlier order.
      1.
      The earlier order mandates the senate to either confirm or reject an
      appointee in an open session of the senate. Communication of the
      senate’s decision is to be made to the president. A rejected candidate
      cannot be represented.

      2. The initial rejection of Magu was done
      in an executive session not an open session. This misnomer enabled the
      president to represent him for confirmation since his rejection was not
      in an open session.

      3. But it is possible that an appointee may
      not present himself/herself for confirmation in the open session of the
      senate, especially if he feels he might not be confirmed. Therefore,
      section 131 is to block that lacuna. Neither confirmed nor rejected
      means, if he didn’t present himself for screening, there’s no way to
      confirm or reject him. That is where the “Neither confirmed nor
      rejected” came from. In this case, his nomination shall be returned and
      cannot be represented.

      4. The Senate rules are valid to regulate appointments of executive nominees except you can prove that they run foul of a constitutional provision. If not, the orders are fully valid.

  • moribund9ja

    It is time for a sound person from south east , an igbo to head EFCC.
    Nigerians will see that the difference is very clear.

    • papred06

      You mean a jew?

  • RumuPHC

    Dino has clearly confirmed that the Senate plus their rules and of course the ” distinguished senators” is an incompetent and confused bunch.

    It isn’t that the ineptitude of most that call themselves senator is not known , what is exasperating however is the extent most of the senators are ready to reach to promote their selfish and parochial interests.

    The entire saga of non confirmation of Magu has only further exposed this despicable attitude of those that are suppose to protect the fundamental human rights of Nigerians as enshrined in the constitution.

    It is Magu’s right to aspire and occupy any office in Nigeria in a democracy. Non confirmation by the senate will require that he is not surreptitiously deprived of his rights.

    A security report is neither an opinion nor an end in itself. It is a presentation of analysis of INTEL and deductions drawn thereof . Further test are usually required to draw conclusions. More importantly it is not an indictment, yet . Therefore none should take it as such and justification to act against the wishes of a President or right of a citizen to serve.

    Irrespective of how we feel, the time has come to put an end to this circus. Magu’s nomination should be withdrawn. He should remain in his previous capacity at the Agency while a new nominee should be forwarded as Chairman .

    Surely there must be another good man in a country of 160m!

  • Sunday Okpeh

    Magu can continue to act if he get renominated by PMB as long as the President want. No law set limits for acting capacity. This corrupt men and shameless looters will never confirmed Magu because Magu is in possession of their dirty files. If you change Magu then the war against corruption has come to an end . Magu is a fearless and upright incorruptible man that has given the looters of our national patrimony sleepless night and they will do everything to get rid of him. This must not be allowed.

  • vincentumenyiora

    [“Those suggesting to the President that after failing to scale the confirmation process twice, the President should leave Magu to be acting, are only recommending violation of the law, disrespect for due process and perpetration of illegality. All these will only undermine democracy and constitutionalism in our country,” he said.

    “Those drafters of the law who made the provision that the Senate should confirm the nomination of the EFCC chairman did not make any mistake and nobody should observe the law in the breach by getting a person into that office who has not been confirmed. Magu is not greater than the law creating EFCC. Magu is not the last messiah. He can’t be the only competent person for the job out of 170 million Nigerians. Should he voluntarily decline the appointment today, will EFCC fold up?”, Melaye queried.]

    And when the conditions for nomination, approval or confirmation was promulgated Ibrahim Magu’s name was not contemplated therefore the condition of appointment or confirmation for the post could have or is meant to serve as a blue print and reminder to all anticipating to become or serve on the seat! So logically, Magu was aware of the terms and conditions for confirmation of the EFCC Chairmanship and still he went being meddlesome in crimes (financial); also he should therefore not nor the Presidency complain about the decision of the Senate i. e. if Buhari is truly fighting corruption! But then we wait for the ongoing other cases in the Courts how Buhari’s administration will deal with them all indeed! Magu’s case is therefore a new precedent for Nigeria, folks!

  • josvinco

    Magu should be redeployed. There are other nigerians capable of heading EFCC. After all , he was seconded from the Nigeria Police Force, an organization that needs reforms.

    • Don Franco

      Josvinco, why you think say all the Chairman of EFCC dey always come North, from Ribadu to Waziri to Lamorde to Magu? The answer is simply because the the northern establishment in this Lugardian zoo has given crime and corruption a “Southern” face, such that it’s not possible in their opinion and estimation that any Nigerian of other than northern extraction can head the EFCC; or Customs, or NPA, or NDLEA; or Immigration and INEC.
      Buhari will rather have him serve in an acting capacity, or else, continue to send Magu’s name for confirmation until 2019 than have a Southern Christian be EFCC Chairman.

      • josvinco

        @Don Franco. I agree with you. Magu comes from a corrupt establishment, the Nigeria Force. I don’t know how he can be any different. He has been indicted by intelligence report and he should go. Just read the Interior Minister and his IGP want to arrest the culprits in Ife Crisis while they never should interest in the killings in Benue and Kaduna States because those people are not simply their own people. Our country is full of mess.

      • Adagbasi1

        What about southern moslems from the west?

        • Don Franco

          You can find them in the “Yoruba Mosque” in Maitama where the Hausa Fulani do not worship with them….

  • Ralph

    Long after Melaye is kicked out of politics in 2019, Magu will still be in the limelight. Enjoy your 2 years in the Senate. Its your last political office

  • Sadiq Dan-azumi

    Why are they afraid of magu in the first instance? does it means they have something on him or are they afraid of their elicit acts?
    They have to let the country move forward please!

  • Obianaefo

    Magu has been rejected. Next person. What is special about Magu? Please lets move on joo.