The Presidency on Sunday, July 16, insisted that the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes does not require Senate confirmation, the Nation reports. It based its decision on an advisory prepared by judicial and legal experts on Section 171 of the 1999 Constitution.
The advisory unearthed a ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter where the Chief Justice of the Nigeria (CJN), before his elevation as CJN, had ruled in line with the view of the Presidency on the matter.
The CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, had ruled that the Constitution overrides any provision of an Act /Statute. But the Presidency said it will await the judicial review of Section 171 for the final say on Magu. The legal advisory asked the Presidency to await a judicial pronouncement on Section 171. The source said: “In fact, the conclusion of the legal advisory on the matter is very clear that a judicial pronouncement preferably by the Supreme Court is what will settle the matter.”
Some extracts from the legal advisory states: “The divergent positions being held by the Executive and the Legislature on the subject of confirmation …is one that requires timely and ultimate resolution. “Such resolution could only be reached through the judicial process…Such interpretation would lay to rest the lingering crises between the two arms.”
Concerning the issue of the Acting EFCC Chairman, the legal advisory concluded that “the rumblings in the discourse on the confirmation of the EFCC Chairman have more to do with politics than with the law.The advisory affirmed the powers of the President to appoint in acting capacity into positions such as the EFCC chairmanship.
It also clarified that “in the recent past, the ministerial nomination of late Prof. Abraham Babalola Borishade (Ekiti State) by President Olusegun Obasanjo was rejected repeatedly by the Senate.” “In fact, it would be recalled that this particular nomination was presented four times in 18 months before it was eventually confirmed by the Senate.