By Adenike Lucas, @denilucs
On March 15, 2017, the nomination of Ibrahim Mustafa Magu was rejected by the Senate.
Despite an indicting intelligence report and failure to absolve himself of the allegations made against him during his screening, Mr Magu, a “perennial offender,” remains in office.
The issue of Mr Magu’s confirmation has lingered for too long. The support he gains from the Vice President is rather confusing.
It’s now an open secret that Professor Yemi Osinbajo is the one propping Mr Magu in office. Professor Osinbajo made his support for Mr Magu known at a press conference.
He even went as far as saying that, the “corrupt” Borno Deputy Commissioner of Police did not need the confirmation of the Senate.
However, the EFCC Act 2004 requires getting the confirmation of the Senate for the appointee to the office of the chairman of the EFCC.
Therefore, the “stay put” decision by the Executive has peeved lawmakers who argued that the principle of separation of powers is under threat.
READ MORE: UNDERSTANDING THE EFCC ACT 2004
In retaliation, lawmakers from the upper chamber, who have received several petitions from EFCC workers against their boss, passed a resolution in 2017 not to screen or confirm any more nominees from the Executive until Mr Magu is removed.
Today, the Senate President reaffirmed that vow.
While responding to a colleague’s request, Senator Bukola Saraki said “I know this resolution we took it in March… we will look into it, but if it started after, unless that resolution is rescinded, we are all bound by that resolution.”
So, the Senate would not confirm new Presidential nominees including replacements for vacant positions in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Consequently, the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC could not meet as planned on January 23.
As the MPC was unable to meet, the central bank could not announce its new interest rate, leading to a fall in the stock market.
We can see that the hold off between the lawmakers and the Executive is inevitably affecting the economy of the country.
Thanks to Mr Magu, the EFCC has no board members. Mr Magu takes all the decision on his own. Operatives can attest to many bad decisions he has made.
One of such is his views on the suspension of the Nigeria’s Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU which DENISAURUS News exclusively reported on in May.
Mr Magu claims the agency, where the NFIU is domiciled is letting the FIU go. Yet, the basis for its suspension, such as decision over staffings are unresolved. The EFCC Chairman is known to appoint the Director of the NFIU.
We can report that without the passage of the NFIA bill, the suspension can’t be lifted and Nigeria remains excluded from all Egmont activities (Read the minutes of the 24th plenary at Macao)
Since the Senate is sticking to its guns about Mr Magu, can the Executive do the needful and send a replacement name.
The agency is bleeding and it needs to be given a new life.