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Group Threatens Senate With Contempt Of Court Over Move To Confirm Magu

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Possible confirmation of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has suffered setback as an advocacy group, Kingdom Human Rights Foundation has threatened the Senate with contempt proceeding in the Court.

The group in a statement by its Director, Okere Nnamdi dated 30th January, 2017, a copy of which was obtained by the newsmen said any attempt by the Senate to consider Magu for confirmation would amount to contempt of court since litigation against such move by both President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate is already before the Federal High Court Abuja Division as filed by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation on the 29th of December 2016.

The group specifically declared that it has duly notified the Senate President, Bukola Saraki through a letter dated 5th January 2017.

The statement reads in part: “Accepting Magu’s re-nomination and going ahead to consider it, will amount to contempt of court and deliberate abuse to the age-long established principles of rule of law and separation of powers.

“We have duly notified the Senate President, through a letter dated 5/1/17 and also informed and served him the process filed in court and averted their mind to the fact that it will amount to contempt of court to accept and re-consider Magu’s re-nomination during the pendency of the suit…”

Though the Senate last week Tuesday received a letter from the President, re-nominating Magu for the substantive chairmanship position of the anti-graft agency but the objection being raised by the group against such re-nomination may be honoured by it going by provision of rule 53(5) of its standing order, preventing the upper legislative chamber from entertaining any matter already in court.

The rule states thus: “Reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending, in such a way as might in the opinion of the President of the Senate prejudice the interest of parties thereto”.

It would be recalled that Magu’s earlier nomination for confirmation as the Chairman of EFCC by President Muhammadu Buhari last year was rejected by the Senate on the strength of his alleged indictment by report made available to it by the Department of State Service (DSS).

Meanwhile the various Senate standing committees will today start having in session, management of the various federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies for defence of their 2017 budgetary provisions.

In a brief chat with journalists yesterday, the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC Yobe North), said the session this year, would be a very smooth process as against what it was last year with series of controversies like budget padding, disappearance and others.

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