…as Senate writes Buhari on Magu
By Mumini Abdulkareem
Senate President and Chairman of National Assembly, Dr Bukola Saraki yesterday met former head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida at his Hilltop residence in Minna, the Niger State capital.
Some of those present at the meeting included the Kano State Governor, Alhaji Umar Ganduje and Senator Dino Melaye, among other top senators and politicians in the country.
Although the meeting took place after an inspection tour of facilities at the Minna Airport by the lawmakers, the details of their discussion which lasted several minutes were however not made public.
This development is coming just as the Senate wrote President Muhammadu Buhari on the non-confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to Thisday newspaper report, the Senate has formally communicated last Wednesday’s rejection of the nomination of Magu as the substantive chairman of EFCC to President Buhari.
The paper said its findings at the weekend revealed that the correspondence to the President was signed by Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki on Wednesday after the plenary where Magu was screened and rejected.
It said it was reliably informed that the correspondence was handed to Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate) Matters, Senator Ita Enang, for onward delivery to the President on Thursday, March 16.
Quoting an impeccable source who did not want to be named, ThisDay reported that votes and proceedings of Wednesday, March 15, 2017 were transmitted to the president in accordance with legislative practice.
“On the screening of EFCC nominee, Ibrahim Magu, the President of the Senate has sent a communication to President Muhammadu Buhari. In compliance with standard of legislative practice, the President of the Senate has forwarded the votes and proceedings of Wednesday to the president because the standard of legislative practice is that every request sent to the National Assembly by the president when completed, has to be reported back to the president,”
It said the source however, declined to state the exact date the transmission was made.
Recalled that on Thursday, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the presidency was yet to receive any communication on Magu’s rejection, adding that the president will only react upon receipt of such correspondence.
But when the paper contacted Enang on phone, he told Thisday that though there had been a communication between the Senate and the Presidency, he was not privy to the content of the letter.
“Yes, there has been a communication between the Senate and the Presidency but the content thereof is privileged,” he stated.
Following his re-nomination by the President, Magu was screened last Wednesday but was again rejected by the senate, citing a second DSS report which showed that he “failed integrity test.”
Consequently, the Senate said Magu should henceforth cease to act as the commission’s chairman. It also advised Buhari to send the name of a fresh nominee to the parliament for consideration.
While announcing Magu’s first rejection on December 15, 2016, after about two hours of closed door meeting, Senate’s spokesman, Sabi Abdullahi, had cited unfavourable security report as the reason for Magu’s rejection.
Meanwhile, the senate said it had foreclosed reconsideration of Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Boss
According to Senator Dino Melaye, based on extant Senate rules, the upper legislative chamber will not reconsider Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should he be re-nominated.
Citing Senate Rules, Order 131, the Kogi West senator said President Muhammadu Buhari could not validly re-nominate Magu for the job again as the provision would not allow members consider his nomination, having been rejected at a senate session.
Order 131 of the Senate Rules states that, ”nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session or within 21 working days in the case of ministerial nominees shall be returned by the Clerk to the National Assembly to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and shall not again be made to the Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.