Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank on Tuesday stated that the new the Executive Chairman of the Board of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr. William Babatunde Fowler has flagrantly disobeyed the law by assuming office without going Senate approval.
Frank in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday stated that the development was a serious offense that should not be condoned by any responsible government.
He however exonerated president Mohammadu Buhari who made the appointment from the blame, saying that Fowler should have followed due process established in the FIRS Acts before assuming office.
Frank who recalled that Fowler had on Tuesday 25, August 2015 resumed his duties as the new FIRS boss without Senate screening, submitting that the act “portrays him as either ignorant of the law, or where that is not the case, acting with impunity.”
He said: “Let us look at the FIRS Act before one is accused of crying wolf where none exists. Section 3(2a) of the FIRS Establishment Act, 2007, states that: “the Executive Chairman of the Service is to be appointed by the President and subject to the confirmation of the Senate.”
“Where does Fowler derive his authority with which he now presides over the Board of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)? He has since assumed office and carrying out the duties of the office. Do we let him go in view of the present financial quagmire in the country? I don’t think we should be swayed by arguments that we have gotten a czar to dress our financial wounds, ” he said.
Arguing that it would be a precedent to allow Fowler continue in office, Frank urged the Senate to not only screen him but sack him from office.
“The Senate would only be acting as rubber stamp should it clear Fowler in the face of this gross violation of the Constitution. The Senate would also be setting a bad precedent should it decide to overlook Fowler’s infractions and clear him still.
“It is wrong for an appointee, who is supposed to be confirmed by the Senate before appointment, to assume office and then come for confirmation. In such situation, the man is already enjoying the pecks of office and the confirmation is being made to look like a fiat accomplished.”
“What we are seeing concerning these appointments amount to an offence and gross breach of the constitution. I am aware that senators are peeved by this conduct and there is the thinking that some of those who have assumed office might have disqualified themselves. The lawmakers consider the development as an abuse of their respect for Buhari and that the act is undermining the Senate. They will also be asked what legal grounds they relied on to assume duty when the Senate was yet to confirm them,” he stated.
The APC deputy publicity secretary said he was personally going to institute a legal action against the FIRS boss in respect of the flagrant abuse of the law even if he was he passes the senate screening.