Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been rebuked by members of the Nigerian Senate over comments he made suggesting that the president did not need senate’s approval to appoint Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It would be recalled that Osinbajo had earlier declared his support for Magu, saying that the presidency did not find the security reports submitted by the Department of State Services (DSS) as strong enough to stop magu’s confirmation.
“No law says we can’t re-present him. And again, there is the other argument, whether or not we need to present him for confirmation and that’s a compelling argument from Femi Falana,” Osinbajo had said.
The lawmakers are, however, of the opinion that the Vice President’s statement is capable of disrupting efforts being made by the Presidency to reconcile the executive and the legislature arms of the Federal Government.
One of the lawmakers therefore urged Osinbajo to allow President Muhammadu Buhari speak on the matter as he is not the president.
“The Vice President is not the President. We are waiting for the President,” a Senator representing APC Kwara South, Rafiu Ibrahim said.
Whereas the Senator representing APC Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, described Osinbajo’s comment as rather unfortunate owing to the fact that the Vice President chairs a committee seeking to manage the crisis between the legislative and executive arms of government.
“As far as I am concerned, given his position as the chairman of the reconciliation committee, he should have concentrated on ensuring harmony and mobilising support from the Senate, other than making further statements that may further worsen the situation,” Sani told PUNCH.
In his contribution, the Senator representing PDP Enugu North, Chukwuka Utazi said, “Any lawyer who says that what the Senate did or its stand is unconstitutional is not telling the whole truth; it is half-truth,” he said.
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP in Abia North reminded the Vice President that theirs as lawmakers is to confirm nominations made by the executive.
“I want to clarify the fact about whether we have the powers to say he shouldn’t act (as chairman of EFCC) because acting appointment is within the powers of the executive. Ours is to confirm the nominee and make the appointment substantive. And I don’t think there is anything in the Act that talks about acting. That is their business,” he said.