The Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, has said that the senate may review its decision on the acting chairman if he clears himself of the allegation contained in the security report on him.
Anyanwu, who spoke on Saturday, said, “The presidency has the right to present him for screening again if it is satisfied that the allegations against him in the report are baseless.
The senate will do its constitutional duty by adequately investigating petitions against any nominee so that a wrong person will not be appointed.
“Mr. Magu should clear himself of the allegations levelled against him otherwise senate will refuse to screen him if Mr. President should forward his name again,” he said.
Asked if the senate would reconsider the nomination of Magu if Buhari re-presented him, Senator, Sunday Ogbuoji (Ebonyi South), said it was up to the executive.
He said, “The business of the legislature is to screen and confirm nominees but before we do that, we, first of all, do background checks and these background checks are carried out by institutions authorised by our constitution which in this case, is the Department of State Services.
“The DSS gave us a report upon which we based our decision. If he (Ibrahim Magu) is re-presented, it means they have sorted out their issues at the executive level and a report will so say.”
The lawmaker representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, said the implication of the rejection of Magu by the legislature was that he would cease to be the acting chairman of the EFCC.
Akanbi said, “For how long is he going to act? His name was nominated and had been rejected. And the reason for the rejection is not biased; it was based on the information made available to the Senate.”
“It is not over yet. The President can re-present him. By then, he would have filed his defence and communicated it to the senate. The President can re-present Magu to the senate even as much as four times if he chooses to. But before he can do that, the clog in the wheel of Magu’s nomination and legislative approval must have been addressed.”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, while speaking to our correspondent on Saturday, said the upper chamber of the National Assembly, being the lawmaking arm of the government, would not be responsible for the interpretation of the law.
Abdullahi said, “By our democratic arrangement and structure, whatever we do and whatever the executive does are subject to interpretation by judiciary. If anybody is aggrieved with it, we have done our own part and I can only comment on what we do in our work and how we do it.”
Speaking on the same matter on Friday, lawyer and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, had called for the replacement of the embattled acting chairman.
According to the lawyer, the issues raised in the DSS report cannot be overlooked. The legal expert noted that with the various allegations against the EFCC acting boss, it would not be proper for him to continue to head the agency.
He said, “We cannot have such weighty allegations of corrupt enrichment hanging over a man who is to investigate and prosecute others.
“Prior to Mr. Magu’s appointment, a serious allegation of corruption was made against his predecessor in office, but we have never heard of any effort made by the EFCC since Magu took over, on that case.”