Senate President Bukola Saraki has refuted the assumption that the reason the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was rejected the second time was based on the Department of State Service (DSS) report which indicted him of acts of corruption.
Instead, Saraki said that Magu was rejected by the Senate on the fact that he failed the screening by the lawmakers.
Senate President Saraki who made this disclosure in an interview with TVC News in Morocco, where he attended an African summit on climate change and food security, was reacting to a statement credited to the former Senate Leader Ali Ndume, that the Senate rejection of Magu based on allegations was hypocritical.
According to Ndume, if Magu has to be disqualified because there is a report indicting him of corruption, then Saraki should not have continued as Senate President while also having corruption allegations levelled against him, which he is still answering in court.
The Senate President said, “You are jumping into conclusion that he (Magu) was rejected because of the accusation. I don’t think there was anywhere we said he was rejected based on accusations.
“We have nominees that come all the time with different issues. Two weeks ago, we screened the Chief Justice of Nigeria and he scaled through.
“Now the EFCC chairman came and he did not pass the screening. Someone else will come and may pass. This is our constitutional role and I don’t think we should personalise or politicise this.
Saraki also refuted claims that the present confrontation the Senate is having with the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), was an indication that Senate is being hard on the executive.
He said, “I know that as the parliament, which represents the people, some of these far-reaching decisions have to be made and there is a need for a wider consultation and that is what democracy is about. If you don’t want democracy, you can sit in your office and announce anything.
“Nobody is saying we have a monopoly of what is right but there must be consultation. We get feelers from the people and at a time that the economy is biting, we have to be very sensitive to some of the issues we face. So, all we are saying is consult more.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari is said to have received a written communication from the Senate on the rejection of Ibrahim Magu as nominee for the chairman of the EFCC.
The report as learnt was forwarded to President Buhari, by Senate President Saraki.