Weeks after it rejected the nomination of acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, as the substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency, the Nigerian Senate has bowed to pressure from President Muhammadu Buhari by revisiting the issue.
Just before noon on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, the Senate read a letter sent to it by President Buhari re-nominating Magu as substantive Chairman of EFCC.
News Express had during the weekend broken the news of Magu’s renomination for the position but Buhari’s Special Adviser on the National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, yesterday claimed that nothing of such had happened.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, read the letter during plenary on Tuesday that began after a closed-door meeting that lasted for one hour 30 minutes.
It was earlier believed that the re-nomination of Mr Magu may have topped talks at the meeting, but the Senate President explained that the Senate simply discussed the issue of welfare of the Senate and National Assembly.
When Plenary began, the Senate President then read the letter from the President, re-nominating Mr Magu for approval as the Chairman of the EFCC.
In the letter, which was sent to the Senate on Monday, President Buhari explained that the nominee had satisfactorily clarified the allegation, which led to the earlier rejection by the Senate.
The President also rejected the recommendation of the Senate, asking for the removal of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation over allegation of corruption.
The federal lawmakers had in 2016 turned down the President’s request for the confirmation of Mr Magu who is currently the acting chairman of the anti-corruption body.
They cited security report by the Department of Security Services (DSS) which the Senate claimed indicted Mr Magu.
The decision by the Senate had been a subject of controversy as former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, had insisted that Mr Magu was not rejected by the lawmakers but his confirmation was only stepped down for further consultation with the Presidency.
Explaining the reason behind the decision, the Senate said that security report available to it showed that Mr Magu is not fit to be chairman of the body.
Addressing journalists at the National Assembly after that decision was taken, Senate Spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi, said that based on security reports, the Senate cannot proceed to confirm the acting EFCC Chairman.
A lawyer, Daniel Bwala had earlier said that he expected the Senate to confirm the acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, but stressed the need for the lawmakers to allow him respond to the allegations against him.