The Nigerian Senate, this Wednesday, rejected Ibrahim Magu, who was nominated for confirmation by the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Majority of senators, in a voice vote, were against the confirmation of Magu at the plenary session on Wednesday.
The Senate had earlier rejected the nomination of Magu as EFCC Chairman because of a controversial report by the Department of Security Service (DSS) which indicted Magu of corruption.
President Muhammadu Buhari submitted Magu’s name to the Senate in late 2016 for confirmation as Executive Chairman of EFCC after months of heading the Commission as Acting Chairman from November 2015.
The Senate rejected the nomination citing security reports from the DSS. Magu was not given any chance to be screened before the blanket decision to reject him by the senators.
The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, went to the Presidential Villa where he had a closed door meeting with president Buhari to explain the decision of the Senate to turn down the confirmation of Magu.
President Buhari later submitted the re-nomination of Magu to the Senate on January 23, 2017 for confirmation for the second time. The Presidency had also held consultation with the leadership of the Senate to explain its position on the nomination and confirmation of Magu as ERFCC boss.
At plenary this Wednesday, Magu had refuted the allegations of corruption against him which made the Senate reject him in the first nomination.
“Another allegation was that, I was living in an apartment which belongs to Air Commodore Mohammed Umar. The truth was that, I was staying in Karu and was almost late for official assignment, so the authority got a new place for me,” Magu was cited to have said.
Magu highlighted that as EFCC Acting Chairman, he made recoveries which include the $153 million, $927 million, £74,000 recently recovered from Andrew Yakubu and others, as well as the N49 million recovered at the Kaduna Airport on Tuesday.
A mild drama however, turned out when the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, drew the attention of the Senate to another DSS security report submitted to the office of the Clerk on Tuesday, 14th March 2017.
“In the light of the foregoing, Magu has failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption stand of the current government,” the SSS report, read by Mr. Melaye, stated.
The letter was, however, faulted by Magu and some Senators. However, in the end, senators voted against Magu’s confirmation.
Meanwhile, the Presidency is expected to respond to this development any moment from now. National daily monitors the development as further details unfold.