Magu’s re-nomination not permitted by law, Senate rules, says lawyer
The debate on the second rejection and re-nomination of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu for confirmation by the National Assembly is not over yet.
Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Monday Ubani yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari cannot re-nominate Magu to the Senate based on the internal rules of the National Assembly regarding such issues.
He said if that was the case, then there could be a problem, adding that he may not know what is on President Buhari’s mind as Magu had been rejected for the second time by the Senate.
He also said the law permits the president to re-nominate a candidate for confirmation by the Senate, but doubt if this would work out since there are internal rules in the Senate that may play a vital role in making his re-nomination for the third time possible.
“Under the law, the president can re-nominate Magu, but going by what Senator Dino Melaye said, there are internal rules in the Senate that specify how many times a candidate can be re-nominated for confirmation,” he said.
He added that there are two options for the president. Either he exploits the lacuna in law that provides for perpetually retaining the EFCC boss in acting capacity or he nominates another person for the job.
Another lawyer, Charles Lambo pointed out that the presidency’s insistence on Magu was an illegality and a breach of trust between the executive and the legislature.
“This is because section 171 of the constitution gives the president powers to appoint certain officers, which are subject to confirmation of the Senate without which they act in nullity and the EFCC Act also confirmed that the position of Chairman must be confirmed by the Senate,” he added.
He further explained that for Magu to remain in acting capacity after the Senate has rejected him twice was an illegality and advised the presidency to obey the Senate resolution on the matter.
Unlike Ubani who argued that the presidency can exploit the lacuna in the law, Lambo believes it cannot be possible, even as he made referred to Professor Itse Sagay statement that Magu can continue in Acting capacity indefinitely.
“But this is democracy and cannot be possible under the constitution,” he stressed.