Magu will remain EFCC chairman as long as Buhari and I remain in office – Osinbajo; Senate’s Magu confirmation saga: Sagay backs Osinbajo; Represented by El-Rufai, Osinbajo backs Magu . . .
The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN (photo: above), has said that as long as he remains the Acting President of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate as the President of Nigeria subsists, Ibrahim Magu will continue in office as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In the eye of the storm | Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Osinbajo made the declaration in Kaduna on Thursday. Apparently clearing the air on the controversy surrounding the status of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the EFCC, the Acting President postulated that Magu cannot be removed by anybody. Osinbajo spoke through Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai shortly before the commissioning of the EFCC zonal office in Kaduna.
Osinbajo said he held talks with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue, adding that the President insisted that Magu would remain the EFCC chairman.
The Acting President said, inter alia:
“We have every confidence in Magu to fight corruption to a standstill. He would remain the EFCC chairman as long as I remain the acting President and as well as Muhammadu Buhari remains the President . . . It is our belief that Magu would continue to remain a nightmare for corrupt people for years to come.
He (Magu) will remain the EFCC chairman as long as I remain the Acting President and as well as Muhammadu Buhari remains the President.”
– Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON, Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) and legal luminary, Prof Itse Sagay SAN, on Thursday backed his fellow Professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and also, the Acting President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, on his position that the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, will remain in office so long as he and President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure subsists.
Prof. Sagay said the presidency’s position was anchored on the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, which he said supersedes the EFCC Act.
In defence and backing of Prof. Osinbajo, Prof. Sagay said:
“The Section is absolutely void. A court doesn’t need to pronounce it void. Every Nigerian can interpret the Constitution, and the lawyers particularly can interpret it. There is no judge on any Bench in Nigeria today that qualified before me. I am more qualified than all of them and I qualified long before them. What are they interpreting that I cannot?
The truth is that the provision in EFCC Act and any other Act that says the President must get clearance from the Senate before appointing the heads of these agencies or an extra-ministerial body is null and void.
The Constitution has clearly provided for the President to so appoint without any reference to the Senate. That is the law of this country. The fact that we have been practicing invalid law does not mean we cannot wake up one day and do the right thing.
It is not a bad idea for the Supreme Court to be asked to intervene. But I’m telling you this is my interpretation. Any other interpretation that is contrary to this is dishonest. It means they have some private agenda that is contrary to the interest of Nigerians in the face of clear provisions of the Constitution
Since the passage of our first leaders, like Awolowo, Azikiwe and Ahmadu Bello, we have not been lucky enough to have highly principled, consistent, committed men of great integrity and honour like President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo. Perhaps the only other previous administration close to the present one is the Murtala Mohammed/Obasanjo administration.”
– Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC)
Represented by Gov Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State at the commissioning of the EFCC zonal office in Kaduna Osinbajo said:
“Mr Chairman, two weeks ago, I discussed the EFCC and your appointment with President Muhammadu Buhari and he told me he has every confidence in you and every confidence in the commission and the work that you have been doing, and as long as he is president you remain the chairman of the EFCC,’’ he said.
El-Rufai also told the gathering that the Acting president was also solidly behind Magu.
“Last night, I spoke with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who reconfirmed the position of the President and told me that as long as he remained the Acting President or Vice President, Ibrahim Magu would remain the chairman of the EFCC.
“That is the only message from the President, so those thinking that corruption is winning this war, Magu would remain their nightmare for the next two years or six years as the case may be,’’ the Acting President said unequivocally.