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Senate May Again Reject Magu As EFCC Chairman

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

Barring last minute change of mind, signs that the Senate will reject the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the second time, emerged on Tuesday after presentation of letter of his re-nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A highly reliable source in the Senate disclosed to reporters that the decision to reject Magu who has been re-nominated  by the President  for confirmation as Substantive boss of EFCC was taken by the different caucuses of the Senate over the weekend when the news broke that President Buhari has, against all advice, re-nominated the Borno State born police officer.

The source said with all assurances that unlike what happened in December when the Senate did not allow Magu go through proper screening before rejecting him, the methodology will be different this time around as the embattled EFCC boss this time around will be given opportunity to appear before the appropriate Senate Committee where  issues of corruption and underhand dealings leveled against him would be revealed, his defence taken, and report written in accordance with Senate procedures.

The report it was gathered, irrespective of its recommendation, will be summarily rejected on the floor of the Senate.

The Senate had last December 15th after an extensive closed-door session took a fiat decision to reject Magu as the EFCC boss.

The Senate insisted then that it could not clear Magu because the security report on him submitted by the Department of State Services (DSS) was too indicting.

President Buhari’s letter re-nominating Magu for the position reads in part: “I write with reference to your letter no NASS /85/R/016 dated 15th December, 2016 where in you conveyed to me the resolution of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reached on the same Thursday 15th December 2016 in respect of my earlier request for the confirmation and appointment of Mr Ibrahim Magu Mustapha the nominee as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“I have taken due note of the contents of the aforesaid resolution as it concerns the nominee particularly the conclusion of the Distinguished Senate not to confirm the nomination of Mr Magu due to a security report on the nominee issued by the Department of State Services (DSS) and addressed to the Senate via a letter dated 3rd October 2016.

“Upon receipt of this said resolution I took administrative steps within the Executive arm of government to ensure the speedy clarification of issues relying upon by the Senate in arriving at its decision.

“These steps included a request for the response of the nominee to the allegations contained in the report out of desire to ensure that the credibility of our anti-corruption campaign is not compromised or called to question.

“It is in the above context that I therefore request to gracious indulgence of  this distinguished senate to favourably accept my renomination of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha for the position of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission having received adequate clarification considering the matter relied upon by the Senate in arriving at its decision.

“Mr President of the Senate, I make this request for a favourable reconsideration by this distinguished chamber against the background of the critical role of the Senate in driving the anti-corruption campaign of the present administration through a proactive legislative agenda and adequate appropriation support for the important work of the agency such as the EFCC.”

But commenting on the letter at a media briefing after plenary, the Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi said the president did not address any of the issues raised in the security report against Magu, but merely glossed over them.


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