Senate Suspends Screening Of INEC Commissioners Over Buhari’s Refusal To Remove Magu

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By Nuel Suji – The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday stood down the confirmation of 27 nominees for positions of Resident Electoral Commissioners, over refusal of  President Muhammadu Buhari  to sack Ibrahim Magu as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite his repeated rejection by the lawmakers.

By the resolution of Senate, the screening INEC commissioners was stood down for two weeks until president Buhari fires Magu

Senate had rejected acting chairman of Efcc over indicting security report from Department of State Services.

However, at the resumption of plenary session after closed which last for 90 minutes, Deputy Senate Leader, Ibn Bala Na’Allah read Mr. President request for the screening and confirmation of INEC commissioners.

But, Senator Peter Nwaboshi while speaking on the request moved a motion that the process be suspended, saying that appointees of the president had shown disregard for the Senate.

Nwaoboshi said,”‎Mr. President, taking a leave from America where we are all starting this presidential election. Recently the National Security Adviser was sent to the senate of America and because of his believe in Russia he was disqualified. What am I saying, issues like this have to transcend the issue of political parties or where you have lived for the interest of Nigerians and also to protect our constitution and protect our democracy.

“Recently in this senate, we have dealt with the issue of confirmation and where are we today, the chairman of the presidential committee on anti-corruption, prof. Itse Sagay went to the press and said that the senate merely confirms. This is an expected of somebody who had lectured constitutional law in the university, a prof. of law, a senior advocate of Nigeria and of course a chairman of such a big body to say that the legislature merely confirms that is the legislature has no power.

“Here are we again today, now be given a list to confirm and we merely confirms. Look at the list here, we have 8 of them here out of 27, 8 of them are for reappointment which means they are acting already, they are already working and they are still in position. Prof. Sagay will start again section 171 subsection d of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria even if we don’t confirm them he will say continue to fight. You can imagine this kind of advise that this kind of advise that this kind of persons are giving to Mr President. They are telling Mr President to disregard and disrespect the institution the legislature.

“Mr president, lets us not take such a precedence, we cannot destroy our democracy because certain persons, certain individual feels that it is only their believe or what they want is what will happen in this country. This country does not belong to them, this country belongs to the Nigerian people. The Nigerian people have elected us, they have given the power to look into those names sent to us for confirmation to look into their credentials.

“But when you denigrade such an institution that have the power to confirm and used the word merely. We could have ignore it but for somebody of that status. My position on this matter is that since our confirmation is merely let us suspend it until wee now know whether we have the power as given to us by the constitution to look into confirmation matters or any other status.‎”

The motion was supported by Senator‎ Matthew Urhoghide, who expressed disatisfaction with continous leadership of Magu in Efcc as Acting chairman after he has been rejected twice by the Senate.

Other Senators who spoke on the issue also backed Senator Nwaoboshi prayer to suspend screening of INEC commissioners till the Mr. President bows to rejection of Senate on Magu.

Senator Francis Alimikhena stated while contributing to the issue that Mr. Magu is “terrorising us, because we disqualified him.”

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