The Presidency has insisted that Mr. Ibrahim Magu‘s nomination as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not require Senate confirmation.
The Presidency is relying on an advisory prepared by judicial and legal experts on Section 171 of the 1999 Constitution.
According to the Nation, the advisory discovered a ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter where Justice Walter Onnoghen, before his elevation as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), had ruled in line with the view of the Presidency on the case.
Justice Onnoghen had ruled that the Constitution overrides any provision of an Act/Statute.
The Presidency, however, said it will await the judicial review of Section 171 to determine the fate of Magu.
“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,” the legal advisory was quoted as saying.
The advisory further states that, “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 judicial process…Such interpretation would lay to rest the lingering crises between the two arms.
“The rumblings in the discourse on the confirmation of the EFCC Chairman have more to do with politics than with the law.
“It is trite that, by the rule of ejusdem generis, any office to which Section 171 or other Sections of the Constitution do not confer on the Senate the power of confirmation of appointment to such office cannot be imported and accorded equal footing as the mentioned offices.”
The advisory said the President has the powers to appoint, in an 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.
“This position is because of the long established and entrenched principle of law that any legislation that is inconsistent with the provision of the Constitution is null and void and of no effect whatsoever to the extent of such inconsistency.”