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Senate may reject Ibrahim Magu again •Says Buhari’s letter did not address DSS report that nailed him

By News Express on 25/01/2017

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  •Embattled EFCC Ag Chairman Ibrahim Magu.
•Embattled EFCC Ag Chairman Ibrahim Magu.

Indications emerged yesterday that the Senate may have resolved to reject the re-nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

There was also a pointer that the Senate will maintain its decision demanding the probe of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal, over allegation of corruption.

A reliable source in the Senate who does not want to be mentioned in print, yesterday confided in Peoples Daily that the Senate in closed session, resolved to reject the nomination of Magu as the chairman of EFCC on the premise that the indictment against him were grievous enough not to be swept under the carpet.

The senators also said concerning the decision of the President to clear the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, of corruption allegation despite documents indicting him, will not be accepted by the Senate.

He said in reaction to this, the Senate resolved at the closed session to fully indict the SGF in the final report which it will soon submit to the Senate.

This position was also alluded to by the Senate President after the executive session, when he told the Chairman of this Senate ad hoc committee that investigated the alleged corruption rocking the Presidential Initiative on North East, senator Shehu Sani, that since the response letter from the Presidency does not affect the report of the committee, he should submit the final report to the Senate as soon as possible.

He said the decision was taken by the different caucuses of the Senate when it was reported in the media that President Buhari has, against all advice, re-nominated the Borno State born police officer as for confirmation as the EFCC boss despite indictment by the Senate.

He said, however, that contrary to what happened in December when the Senate did not allow Magu to pass through proper screening before rejecting him, the lawmakers will this time around give the EFCC boss freedom to appear before the appropriate Senate Committee where issues of corruption and underhand dealings leveled against him would be presented before him for defence to enable the Senate committee write a report to properly indict him and reject him in line with the Senate procedure.

He said the second report of the Department of State Security (DSS) which had cleared Magu of any corrupt dealings, will be dismisses summarily on the floor of the Senate.

President Buhari’s letter re-nominating Magu for the position reads: “I write with reference to your letter no NASS /85/R/016 dated 15th December, 2016 where in you conveyed to me the resolution of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reached on the same Thursday 15th December 2016 in respect of my earlier request for the confirmation and appointment of Mr Ibrahim Magu Mustapha the nominee as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“I have taken due note of the contents of the aforesaid resolution as it concerns the nominee particularly the conclusion of the Distinguished Senate not to confirm the nomination of Mr Magu due to a security report on the nominee issued by the Department of State Services (DSS) and addressed to the Senate via a letter dated 3rd October 2016.

“Upon receipt of this said resolution I took administrative steps within the Executive arm of government to ensure the speedy clarification of issues relying upon by the Senate in arriving at its decision.

“These steps included a request for the response of the nominee to the allegations contained in the report out of desire to ensure that the credibility of our anti-corruption campaign is not compromised or called to question.

“It is in the above context that I therefore request to gracious indulgence of this distinguished Senate to favourably accept my re-nomination of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha for the position of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission having received adequate clarification considering the matter relied upon by the Senate in arriving at its decision.

“Mr President of the Senate, I make this request for a favourable reconsideration by this distinguished chamber against the background of the critical role of the Senate in driving the anti-corruption campaign of the present administration through a proactive legislative agenda and adequate appropriation support for the important work of the agency such as the EFCC.”

The president also wrote to the senate clearing the SGF, Babachir of complexities and the need to probe him as suggested previously by the senate

But Buhari’s letter failed to address issues raised in the damning DSS report on Magu, said Senate Spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger). He said Magu’s renomination “would be subjected to our legislative processes. The letter did not address the DSS report. The Senate will deliberate and inform the public of our next line of action.”

•Pieced together from Peoples Daily and Daily Trust reports.

Source News Express

Posted 25/01/2017 3:26:51 PM





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