Activist Sues For Disqualification Of Saraki, Others From Magu’s Screening

Senate President Bukola Saraki

A Federal High Court in Abuja has been asked to bar Senate President Bukola Saraki from the confirmation process of Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The suit, which was filed on behalf human rights activist, Raji Rasheed Oyewunmi, by Inihebe Effiong, also named Senators Godswill Akpabio, Stella Oduah, Joshua Dariye, Ahmed Sani, Adamu Abdullahi and Magatakarda Wammako, Jonah Jang, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Danjuma Goje and Theodore Orji as defendants in the case. Also listed are the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The suit argues that there is a possible conflict as it pointed out the central role Magu played in the investigation of and eventual prosecution of the Senate President and also his role in the ongoing investigation of the other listed Senators for financial crimes.

The court is being asked to determine if there is no breach of the law.

The sections in question are Sections 56, 172 of, and Paragraphs 1 and 9 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution, given Saraki’s ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Magu’s nomination for confirmation as substantive head of the anti-graft agency by the President had earlier been rejected by the Senate.

The suit reads: “The first or earlier nomination of the 15th Defendant (Mr. Magu) by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the position of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was rejected jointly and severally by the 1st to the 13th Defendants on the 15th day of December 2016 without first referring the 15th Defendant to the appropriate committee of the 13th Defendant and at an executive or closed session instead of an open session.

“Without affording the 15th Defendant an opportunity to defend himself on an alleged security report submitted to it by the State Security Service vide a letter dated October 3, 2016 on the unsuitability of the 15th Defendant for the position of Chairman of the EFCC, the 1st to the 13th Defendants jointly and severally, purportedly acting on the said security report by the State Security Service otherwise called the Department of State Services (DSS), rejected the 15th Defendant’s nomination.”

Oyewunmi, in his suit, argues that the defendants are unable to be objective in the carrying out of their duty as it relates to the confirmation of Magu. He said the process of his rejection was itself illegal as the appropriate committee did not sit on it nor was the matter held in an open session.


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