By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dino Melaye, on Saturday night, declared that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot validly re-nominate Ibrahim Magu to the Upper Legislative Chamber for confirmation as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), after Magu had been rejected twice in three months.
Magu had earlier been rejected by the Red Chamber in December 15, 2016, but Buhari renominated him to the Senate.
The Senate, on Wednesday, rejected Magu’s nomination, following a report of the Department of Security Services (DSS).
Dated March 14, 2017, the DSS letter, which was almost similar to the first one that led to his rejection last December, indicted Magu for corruption, living a double life, and concluding that Magu lacks the integrity, and was not fit for the purpose to head the EFCC.
While commenting on the debate in the media about whether Magu can continue to act as the EFCC boss, in spite of his failure to be confirmed by the Senate on two different occasions, or if the President can renominate him, Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District, explained that there is a provision of the Senate Rules, which would not allow members consider Magu for the same position again.
Citing Order 131 of the Senate Rules, Melaye maintained thatMagu’s candidacy is considered lapse, after the rejection of his nomination by the Senate.
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.
Melaye, therefore, advised Buhari to consider a fresh nominee, who is qualified, in terms of experience, integrity, knowledge and temperament to lead the anti-graft agency.
The senator, who insisted that Magu did not impress anybody, including those senators, who would have been sympathetic to his cause during the confirmation hearing in the Senate, urged Buhari to look for a replacement, and avoid actions that may result in violation of the laws of the land.
“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.
“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?” he asked rhetorically.
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