Rejection And Re-submission Of Magu’s Name; A Lawyer’s Perspective

daniel bwala nigerian lawyer on MaguA Nigerian lawyer, Daniel Bwala, on Tuesday gave his opinion on the Senate’s rejection of the request for confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu and the resubmission of his name by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The Senate had on December 15 refused to confirm Mr Magu.

Explaining the reason behind the decision, the Senate said that security report available to it showed that Mr Magu was not fit to be chairman of the body.

In this regard, the lawmakers sent back his nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

On Monday, however, the Nigerian President re-submitted Magu’s name to the Senate for confirmation as the substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency.

It was gathered that the President’s letter to that effect has been received by the Senate and may be read on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday.

But Mr Bwala believes the earlier rejection by the Senate was more political and personal than it was on his character.

He insisted that the right process would have been the quizzing of Mr Magu at plenary, with the allegations put forward and an opportunity presented to him to defend himself.

On Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, the lawyer said that the resubmission of the name may have been as a result of recommendations made to the presidency by the Attorney General’s office after an investigation of the allegations against Mr Magu.

“It is possible that the President may have, after the recommendations of the Attorney General, come to the conclusion that there is no serious allegation against him.

“I have always had the view that magu’s rejection was political and personal than on the fact that was presented to the national assembly.

“We had thought that it was a serious allegation that the Senate had put forward.

“The circumstances surrounding the rejection and the procedure should be considered. There is supposed to be a debate for the suitability of the person for the position that the Presidency was nominating him for,” he explained.

The lawyer further alleged that on personal ground, Mr Magu’s desire to prosecute some former minister and governors, whom he said were now Senators, could have made the Senators refuse to confirm him.

“We all heard that prior to the period that Magu had said that the EFCC was embarking on prosecuting former governors and Minister. Most of this persons are in the Senate.

“EFCC is larger and bigger than Magu.

“We know that there are quite a number of cases that are on Magu’s table and if he is replaced, there is 90 per cent charge that they will die a natural death.

“When you say you want to investigate ministers, former governors that are now in the Senate and former Senators, it goes without saying that they will probably make an attempt to stop you from being confirmed,” he added.

Mr Bwala says he expects the Senate to confirm Mr Magu following the right process of fair hearing, pointing out that Nigerians also need to hear how Mr Magu will respond to the allegations against him.

Akwa Ibom Govt. Accounts Investigation: Court Vacates Restraining Injunction Against EFCC

EFCC on Akwa Ibom government account investigationThe Akwa- Ibom State High Court, sitting in Ikot Ekpene, on Friday vacated an order of interim injunction restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from investigating the accounts of Akwa Ibom State Government.

Justice Ntong F.N. Ntong gave the ruling at the resumption of hearing on a motion filed by the anti-graft agency to counter an earlier injunction of the court.

Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent Shola Soyele, said that the court had on 13 July ruled in favour of an ex-parte motion filed before it by the Akwa Ibom State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko.

Mr Nwoko had sought an order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government or any of its agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting, detaining or investigating any official of the state government.

The motion also sought the restraining of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Inspector General of Police from arresting, detaining or investigating any official of the state government, past or present, without any report of indictment by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

However, the EFCC, through a motion on notice, filed on August 2, approached the court to quash the injunction.

At the resumption of the matter on Friday, counsel to the EFCC, Dr. Ben Ubi, told the court of an application dated 29 July and filed on the August 2, asking the court to vacate the restraining order.

In response, the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Nwoko argued that his seven days to respond to the EFCC’s application had not elapsed.

He said that he had filed a motion on notice for the enlargement of the lifespan of the interim injunction.

The judge, having listened to arguments on both sides, vacated the interim order of injunction and then adjourned the matter to October 19, 2016 for hearing of the preliminary objection of the EFCC alongside other applications.

The legal fireworks initiated by the Akwa Ibom State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, against the EFCC and other agencies were sparked by a petition received by the EFCC against some governors and officials of the past regime in Akwa Ibom State.

The vacation of the restraining order on the EFCC has now paved ways for the Commission to continue its works in that regard.

It has also voided an earlier order restraining the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; Clerk of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly; Auditor General of Akwa Ibom State and the Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State from surrendering themselves or any document or financial records to the EFCC, ICPC or any other person.