A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Sylva Ogwemoh has warned that the continued stay in office by the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, after two unsuccessful screening attempts at the Senate breaches the enabling law of the anti-graft agency.
The lawyer disclosed that there was no provision for the Acting Chairman under the EFCC Act, 2004.
He added that since Section 3 of the EFCC act provides for Senate confirmation, the powers of the President in such appointment was not absolute.
Ogwemoh noted that, “The power of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, to appoint a Chairman for the EFCC is not absolute.
“The President’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“What this means in effect is that the President cannot under any circumstance act alone in the appointment of a Chairman for the EFCC, without thé confirmation of the Senate, and where the Senate has refused confirmation as in the case of Magu, that matter ends there.
“This is because there is no provision in the EFCC Act for the office of an acting Chairman as the head of the Commission.
“The office created by the Act is that of a Chairman who shall be the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Commission.”
Ogwemoh further argued that the “proceeding to retain Magu in the face of the non-confirmation by the Senate may be viewed by many as a way of circumventing the law” adding that “although the gentleman is doing well in the performance of his duties; the law is the law and must be obeyed by all Nigerians.”