The Senate is reconsidering Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after reading a letter sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari re-nominating him as the substantive Chairman of the Commission.
Mr. President had re-nominated Ibrahim Magu to be confirmed as the EFCC chairman after the lawmakers had in 2016 turned down the President’s request. The senate said the reason behind the decision was that security report available to it, showed that Magu is not fit to be chairman of the body.
They cited security report by the Department of Security Services (DSS) which the Senate claimed indicted Mr. Magu.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, read the letter during plenary on Tuesday that began after a closed-door meeting that lasted for one hour 30 minutes.
It was earlier believed that the re-nomination of Mr. Magu may have topped talks at the meeting, but the Senate President explained that the Senate simply discussed the issue of the welfare of the Senate and National Assembly.
In the letter, which was sent to the Senate on Monday, President Buhari explained that the nominee had satisfactorily clarified the allegation, which led to the earlier rejection by the Senate.
Mr. Ibrahim Magu is currently the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The President also rejected the recommendation of the Senate, asking for the removal of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation over an allegation of corruption.
However, the Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc Committee on the Humanitarian Situation in the North East, Senator Shehu Sani, dismissed the president’s response, describing it as a distortion of facts.
The decision by the Senate had been a subject of controversy as former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, had insisted that Mr. Magu was not rejected by the lawmakers but his confirmation was only stepped down for further consultation with the Presidency.
Addressing journalists at the National Assembly after that decision was taken, Senate spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi, said that based on security reports, the Senate cannot proceed to confirm the acting EFCC Chairman.
A lawyer, Daniel Bwala had earlier said that he expected the Senate to confirm the acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency but stressed the need for the lawmakers to allow him to respond to the allegations against him.
Meanwhile, the Presidential aide on National Assembly matters (Senate), Ita Enang, has said he is not aware of a fresh letter from his principal asking the Senate to reconsider and confirm Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the EFCC.
Enang made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday, reacting to reports that President Buhari had re-nominated Magu after he was rejected in December last year.
“You are about the third person calling me on this matter, NAN quoted him as saying. “I am not aware of that discussion and I don’t want to speak on the matter because I don’t have details”.
Mr. Magu replaced former EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde in an acting capacity in November 2015, after the former chairman was removed by President Buhari. He is an Assistant Commissioner of Police and was also one of the deputies of the former EFCC boss