EFCC OPERATES WITHOUT A CHAIRMAN – SENATE
There are indications that the Senate is still nursing animosity against the executive arm of government, for retaining Ibrahim Magu as the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The apex legislative chamber had twice refused to confirm Magu as substantive chairman when he was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari, anchoring its decision on unfavourable security report by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions, Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East), disclosed that the Senate no longer recognised Magu as acting Chairman of the EFCC. Anyanwu gave the revelation in Abuja at a press briefing by the Senate Ad hoc Committee set up to investigate alleged wastes in Customs warehouses. He explained that there were many petitions against the EFCC, but his committee could not invite Magu because he was no longer seen as the acting chairman.
The lawmaker further noted that there were other confirmation requests from President Muhammadu Buhari pending in the Senate, but could not be attended to because of the rift between the Red Chamber and the Presidency over Magu. He also said that the Senate would use the occasion of budget defence to demonstrate its power to the executive, for trampling on resolutions of the parliament. His words: “The Senate rejected Magu twice as the Acting Chairman of the EFCC based on his failure to perform well during his screening in the Senate.
“Today, as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, there are a lot of petitions that involve the EFCC as a body, but we have refused to invite the acting chairman before the committee because in the eyes of the committee, he is no longer the chairman.
“Again, there are so many confirmations we supposed to have screened, such like the NDDC nominees and the CBN board nominees, but we have not been able to do that because of the issue of Magu. It is one of the measures we are using to tackle the executive over Magu.
“Of course, the budget is here and we are going to use that to show that the Senate is strong and you cannot wake up and disregard the resolutions of the Senate on important national issues.” Also commenting on the refusal of the executive to remove Magu, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) tasked Nigerians and the media to hold the executive accountable for its actions and inactions.
He said: “It will be very wrong to attribute the failure of the Executive to carry out resolutions of the Senate as failure of the parliament. Our job is to oversight; our job is to discover problems, our job is to make recommendations and suggestions, which the Senate has done perfectly. It is now left for the Executive to implement whatever resolution we have made.