Activist, Former Lawmaker React To Buhari’s Letter On Magu, SGF

Activst, Former Lawmaker React To Buhari’s Letter On Magu, SGFA former lawmaker has joined other observers, including rights activists in reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to re-nominate Mr Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman and retain Mr Babachir Lawal as Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Mr Babatunde Ogala, a former lawmaker in the Lagos state House Of Assembly, faults the interim report sent to the Presidency by the Senate as not sufficient enough to throw out the candidacy of both men.

He said that while he would not exonerate or condemn the SGF, the votes and proceeding and interim reports, did not suggest that he was given a fair hearing.

“The President has not said you were right or wrong. He has only pointed out their procedural errors.

“A legislature takes resolutions to the executive – You do not send interim reports”, he stressed, adding that the Senate had sent an incomplete report.

Questioning the actions of the Senate, he said: “Supposing the man had been sacked in your interim reports and your final reports now prove that he’s not even liable, what would have happened?”

Selective Application Of Constitution

Sharing a different view, rights activist, Richard Nwankwo, believes both the SGF and the EFCC boss, ought to have stepped down from office to allow for proper investigations into allegations leveled against them.

Nwakwo stressed that in the fight against corruption, there should be an elaborate, comprehensive and an intellectually driven campaign; which he believes is not what is playing out in reality.

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“Like I have repeatedly maintained, the selective application of the provisions of this constitution is the highest form of corruption.”

He then added that “even if there is no merit from the allegation from the Senate, I expect that the gladiators involved to have stepped aside for a thorough investigation to be done.”

They both gave their opinions while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

President Buhari had on Monday re-submitted the name of Mr Magu to the Senate for confirmation as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

In that letter, the President explained that the nominee had satisfactorily clarified the allegation, which led to the earlier rejection by the Senate.

The President also rejected the recommendation of the Senate, asking for the removal of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, over allegation of corruption.

Different Circumstances

Meanwhile, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), has highlighted what it called differences in the circumstances surrounding both situations involving Magu and Lawal.

In a statement made in reaction to President Buhari’s letter, the spokesman for CACOL, Mr Wale Salami, explained that “there is the imperative need to separate Magu’s case and that of Babachir”.

NLC, TUC Protest Verification Policy By Kaduna Govt.

NLC, TUC Protest Verification Policy By Kaduna Govt.Civil servants in Kaduna State have shunned their offices in protest against the new verification exercise introduced by the state government mandating them to indicate if they want to be part of a labour union or not.

In their hundreds, they converged on the state NLC secretariat on Wednesday with representatives of affiliate unions and civil society organisations to hold a mini rally in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

They condemned what they described as the deliberate attempt by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to enslave them and destabilise unionism in the state public service.

The workers under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) alleged that most of them had not been paid salaries for about eight months.

Speaking in company of the TUC President, Bobbi Kaigama, and a rights activist, Festus Okoye; the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, explained that one of the columns in the form required workers to indicate whether they wanted to belong to a union or not.

He added that the new directive was strange to them.

“It contravenes the labour laws concerning to employees/employers condition of service,” he said.

Also at the rally was the former NLC Vice President, Issa Aremu, who said that the organised labour would use all legal means at their disposal to ensure that the new policy does not stand, maintaining that the governor had no right to meddle into labour affairs.

Reacting to the protest, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Finance, Suleiman Kwari, said that the exercise was aimed at ascertaining the true number of its workforce and not targeted to destabilise the unions.

He explained that there was nothing wrong with the government asking the workers to indicate if they wanted to belong to a union or not since it was optional to do so.

The commissioner also disclosed that those who were being owed salaries had issues with their documentation.

The Kaduna State has given the workers till Monday, March 28, to fill and return the forms and has vowed to apply sanctions against defaulters.