Buhari Wrong To Have Kept Magu As Acting EFCC Chief For Five Years – Lawyer
A former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Victor Ubani on Monday faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping suspended graft chief, Ibrahim Magu in charge of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for five years without being confirmed by the Senate.
Ubani, who was speaking on Channels TV breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, said the President should have sought confirmation from the Senate or replaced Magu.
“If you look at the act that created the office of the chairmanship of the EFCC, there is no room for acting capacity,” Ubani said. “Even though people will want to have recourse to the interpretation that if you have power to appoint, you also have the power to put someone in acting capacity.”
Ubani added that, ideally, an acting Chairman should not have been in running for the permanent position.
“In America, if they want to send the name of someone in acting capacity to the senate for confirmation, they will remove that individual and bring in somebody else, pending the time the Senate will confirm or reject,” he said.
“But what happened in Magu’s case is that you sent him for confirmation and the Senate rejected him, and you now kept him in acting capacity for five years. Even if someone has to serve in acting capacity, it shouldn’t be up to a year because there must be confirmation as required by law.”
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday affirmed the suspension of Mr Magu as acting Chairman of the EFCC.
Magu’s suspension by the President, which takes immediate effect, was announced in a statement from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
The minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, who signed the statement, explained that the presidential directive was to allow for an unhindered inquiry by the Presidential Investigation Panel under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws.
He also revealed that President Buhari has directed the EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, to take charge and oversee the activities of the commission.
Meanwhile, Mr Magu, through his lawyer, has since written to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to release him on bail after spending several days in detention.