Thursday, 26 October 2017

Upper Legislative Chamber suspends CBN Deputy governor's confirmation over renewed war with the executive on Magu's case

The long standing dispute between the Upper Legislative Chamber and the Executive arm over the insistence of Ibrahim Magu as the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), took a new turn on Wednesday as the Upper Chamber threatened the confirmation of the nomination of Ms. Aisha Ahmad as a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

President Buhari forwarded Ahmad’s nomination to the Senate for confirmation as a replacement for Mrs. Sarah Alade whose tenure expired in February, but the Senate yesterday said that it would not consider the nomination in line with its July 4, 2017 resolution to suspend all executive confirmation requests until Ibrahim Magu is removed.

It also said, the hostility would persist until the Senate’s power of confirmation of nominees to the boards of commissions established by enabling laws but not listed in the 1999 Constitution as amended, is clarified.

The Senate made the resolution, following a pronouncement by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the Executive did not require the confirmation of the Senate for the appointment of Chairman of the EFCC, explaining that the request should not have been transmitted in the first instance.

Magu’s nomination was rejected twice by the Senate on the basis of a report of the Department of State Services (DSS), which indicted him for criminal and unprofessional conduct. Despite his rejection, Magu remained in office, a development, which has remained the source of the tension between the Senate and the Executive arm of government.

Ahmad’s appointment would be the fifth casualty of the Senate’s filibuster policy, the confirmation of the nomination of Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila (Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission), Mr. Funso Doherty (Director-General, Pension Commission), Mr. Muhammad Isah (Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau), and Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission) having been suspended earlier.

The Senate also suspended the confirmation of members of the boards of the agencies and forbade them from operating in an acting capacity as directed by the Executive.

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