- Anti-graft war’ll continue like before, says EFCC chair
Fred Itua; Paulinus Aidoghie, Abuja |
An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has validated Senate’s rejection of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as acting Chairman of the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The court’s ruling was conveyed to newsmen, yesterday, by Senate spokesman Aliu Sabi Abdullahi, after plenary.
The judgment was handed down on January 15, by Justice John Tsoho. A copy of the judgement was only received by senators, yesterday, it was gathered.
It was also a day Senators vowed not to confirm nominees of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unless the president replaces Magu.
Consequently, the Red Chamber has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to comply with the court judgment, which it said upheld its powers of confirmation and rejection of the president’s appointments.
Senate had, in 2016, rejected Magu’s appointment after a security report from the Department of State Services (DSS) indicated he failed an integrity test.
However, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was then acting president, declared that Senate actually lacked the powers to confirm such appointments.
Yesterday, Senate said the president should, immediately, comply with the judgment, particularly to honour the recognition accorded him by the African Union (AU) at its 30th meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was pronounced champion of anti-corruption in Africa.
Chief among the president’s nominations that have been kept in view by lawmakers, as a result of the impasse, include the deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nominee and four members of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Senate particularly declared that the failure of the CBN to form a quorum for the meeting of the MPC should be blamed on the Presidency which had failed to do the right thing, by not complying with the Constitution and the law on appointments into agencies of the Federal Government.
Said Abdullahi: “By this (court) judgment, for those who have been worried that the MPC never met, I think this is a window for the MPC to see the light in meeting.
“If the Executive does the needful, provide another Nigerian of credible character, of which we have millions of them – 180 million of them – even by arithmetic error, we should be able to get good people.
“So, it is our hope and prayer that our amiable president will find this judgment in order and will be submitting very soon, another nominee, to carry on with the good work of anti-corruption, especially now that we are very proud of him as the AU anti-corruption ambassador.”
But Magu was unperturbed by the court’s verdict, yesterday.
The EFCC boss insisted there is no going back in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
At a press briefing on the outcome of the just-concluded 30th Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Magu said the war against corruption in the country will be fought like never before.
“I think you are seeing what we are doing. We are even encouraged by the fact that the Judiciary in Lagos has created a special court and that is a plus,” Magu declared.
Over 40 other nominations including, heads and board members of the Pension Commission (PenCom), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) are in abeyance.