The drama arising from the Senate’s failure to confirm the appointment of Acting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, continues as another Senator has claimed his nomination was never rejected by the Senate.
Senator David Umaru, Chairman of the Senate committee on the Judiciary from Niger East senatorial district, said the issue of Magu’s confirmation has not been discussed at plenary.
Umaru said in Minna on Monday, that “The issue of Magu was never voted on in plenary, so as far as I am concerned Magu’s nomination was never rejected. If somebody say it was rejected it was probably a mistake, me, I have not voted. The Senate operates by rules, the rule is that this thing must be presented to us either by the committee or through direct interaction with the members in plenary. None of this has happened.
“The issue of Magu was discussed only in the executive session of the Senate. It was not an issue discussed at plenary so anything done in the executive session is not the same thing as that done in plenary, so as far as I am concerned the issue of Magu, the consideration of his nomination was never considered by the Senate”.
He went further to argue, “Now that they have that development from the DSS the matter was referred back to the presidency so that they can clarify the matter after which the Senate will now consider it”.
Like Umaru, Senator Ali Ndume, Senate Majority Leader, was the first to deny that the Senate rejected the EFCC boss.
Ndume’s denial of Senate rejection of Magu was followed by a press conference where the leadership of the Senate dissociated itself from Ndume’s denial.
Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Abdullahi Sabi, told newsmen during the press conference that Ndume’s claims were null and void.
Sabi had maintained that the position of the Senate was that the nomination of Magu has been rejected and has been returned to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President had written the Senate to confirm the appointment of the EFCC chairman, but the Senate at its plenary on Thursday December 15, rejected his confirmation.
Sabi who briefed National Assembly correspondents, had then confirmed to Ripples Nigeria that the rejection of Magu was based on a ‘worrisome’ security report, made available to lawmakers by the Department of State Services (DSS).
While President Buhari has ordered the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to investigate the allegation against Magu, drama over his rejection and none rejection has continued to play among the senators.
Umaru’s stand may cause a split in the Senate as Ripples Nigeria had also recently reported that some APC senators unhappy with how Ndume handled the Magu issue were making moves to have him removed as Majority leader of the chamber.
Analysts are of the view, that Umaru’s revelation shows that Ndume may after all not be a lone ranger, and may have support if attempts are made to remove him based on the Magu Issue.
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