20170501

Again? Senate plans showdown with Presidency over Magu

The Senate has perfected plans to withhold confirmation of nominees by President Buhari as part of their lawmakers’ strategies for a showdown with the Presidency.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly is considering placing an “embargo” on approval of appointments by the President until the legislature and the executive resolved the lingering crisis between them.

It was gathered on Sunday that the Senate would make the move based on the recent comment by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who said he agreed with human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), that Section 171 of the Constitution empowers the President to make some appointments without National Assembly’s approval.

An impeccable source in the leadership of the Senate told Punch that a serious constitutional crisis was brewing in the country.

According to the source, the legislature and the executive have conflicting interpretation of the Constitution on their powers and responsibilities.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said while an intervention by judiciary would be needed, the executive should go to court and not the legislature.

The Presidency and Senate had clashed over the retention of Ibrahim Magu as acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite the rejection of his appointment.

VP Osinbajo had ruled out the possibility of Buhari replacing Magu with another nominee, adding that the President did not find the DSS report, which was the basis for Magu’s rejection, as a strong reason to replace the EFCC boss.

He said despite being rejected twice, the government was still at liberty to renominate Magu.