Some senators have expressed unhappiness over Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s recent comment that acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, does not require legislative approval to be confirmed for the post.
The lawmakers, in a chat with Sunday Punch, gave a hint that the vice-president’s comment may hinder the reconciliatory move by the Presidency on the crisis between both arms of government.
It was gathered from the chat that some of the senators were already studying the provisions of the constitution to prove that Magu should be removed.
They were reported to have said they wanted to determine who was right on Magu between the executive and the legislature.
The Senate had on two occasions refused to confirm Magu for the EFCC job, insisting that the anti-graft agency’s acting Chairman had failed integrity test, citing a report by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The lawmakers had said the rejection of Magu meant that he could not continue to act in the capacity.
But Osinbajo disagrees as he ruled out the possibility of President Muhammadu Buhari replacing the EFCC boss another nominee.
The vice-president had revealed that the president did not find the DSS report as a strong reason to replace Magu.
The Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, criticised Osinbajo for his comment.
Sani believes the vice-president should not have said that as he was leading a peace committee seeking to manage the crisis between the two arms of government.
“As far as I am concerned, given his position as the chairman of the reconciliation committee, he should have concentrated on ensuring harmony and mobilising support from the Senate, other than making further statements that may further worsen the situation,” he is quoted by Punch to have said.
In a similar vein, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP/Enugu North) saw hole in the vice-president’s comment.
He said, “Any lawyer who says that what the Senate did or its stand is unconstitutional is not telling the whole truth; it is half-truth.”
On his part, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP/Abia North), was reported to have said he was studying the provisions of the EFCC Act on nomination and confirmation of the agency’s chairman.
“I want to clarify the fact about whether we have the powers to say he shouldn’t act (as chairman of EFCC) because acting appointment is within the powers of the executive. Ours is to confirm the nominee and make the appointment substantive. And I don’t think there is anything in the Act that talks about acting. That is their business.”