A Lagos based human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has said that rejection of Ibrahim Magu as substantive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) was ridiculous to the office of the president.
Falana said in a letter he made public on Thursday that it was high time DSS was restrained by President, Muhammadu Buhari from sabotaging the fight against corruption by the federal government.
It would be recalled that the senators hinged their second time rejection of Magu on another security report from DSS which questioned the integrity of the anti-corruption czar.
Falana in the letter frowned at both the Senate and the DSS saying that, “The rejection of the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the senate on the basis of a security report compiled by DSS is the height of official ridicule of the office of the president.”
He also queried the sense in allowing senators under corruption investigation to participate in the screening of the Acting Chairman of EFCC.
The human rights lawyer said such senators should not have been allowed to determine the fate of Magu, who unanimously rejected the Acting Chairman for the second time.
“The confirmation hearing hurriedly conducted is illegal in every material particular. The participation of many senators who are either under investigation or being prosecuted by the EFCC has vitiated the entire proceedings of the senate on ground of conflict of interest.
The lawyer said the action of the Senate was a contravention of the rules of the senate which stipulates that matters which are subjudice shall not be discussed by the chamber.
While appealing to Buhari to re-nominate Magu or allow him to keep working in acting capacity, Falana added that notwithstanding the rejection of the nomination of Magu by the senate, the president could represent Magu when the government put its house in order.”
“Alternatively, the president may allow Magu to remain the acting chairman of the EFCC since he was appointed in that capacity pursuant to section 171 of the constitution,” Falana said.
He explained further that if the president is not satisfied with Magu’s performance he is at liberty to appoint another person whose nomination will be forwarded to the Senate in accordance with section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
“In the light of the foregoing, President Buhari is enjoined to ensure that the fight against corruption is not derailed by highly placed corrupt elements who have enlisted the support of fifth columnists and reactionary forces in the government,” Falana said.
Meanwhile, not minding the pains of his rejection, the embattled EFCC’s boss noted that he would continue as much as possible to fight corruption in line with the Buhari’s administration’s plan.
He told a coalition of civil society groups at the entrance to the National Assembly that his priority was to fight corruption.
“My confirmation has not changed anything.We have always been on duty I will work until the last day whether confirmation or no confirmation.The greatest violation against human right is crime against the society and the humanity but everybody has a duty and responsibility to fight corruption and I also have a responsibility. I assure you that we will fight to finish,” Magu said.
He added that he would never be deterred because what the agency is doing is trying to investigate what has gone before and protect the future of Nigerian children and future generation.
“So, if we don’t work today and fight against corruption, the future is not guaranteed, the future of our children is not guaranteed. So, we must wake up, where ever you find yourself, fight corruption. Anytime you discover that I am corrupt, expose me,” Magu said.
Magu explained that he had never been invited by DSS to explain some of the issues purportedly raised against him and explained that the principle of rule of law presupposed that he be given fair hearing.
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