The Senate has again rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu by President Muhammadu Buhari as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, making it the second time.
This follows a tough screening exercise carried out during Wednesday’s plenary at the floor of the Senate.
During the screening, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye, praised Magu for his “sagacity” in the anti-corruption campaign.
But the outspoken lawmaker referred to a letter sent to the Senate by the Department of State Services, DSS, on Tuesday, which again discredited Magu.
Part of the letter as read out by Melaye said that “Magu has failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of Mr. President.”
The Lawmaker stressed that anyone who must lead the country’s topmost anti-corruption agency must be “blameless, pure and stainless.”
Also, Benue State lawmaker, Barnabas Gemade, pointed out that in the DSS report against Magu, mention was made of one Umar Mohammed, an Air Commodore, who was said to have secured an accommodation for the EFCC boss.
Gemade said that the DSS described the said Mohammed as a “dubious personality.”
“Who is Umar Mohammed and what is your relationship with him?” Gemade asked Magu.
But Magu in his reply said that the DSS report is not credible.He said that the DSS submitted two reports about him on the same day and that questions the integrity of the reports.
“How can the same institution submit two different reports on the same issue on the same date?” he asked.
“Myself and Dino Melaye have been fighting corruption before he became a Senator” Magu noted.
After fielding questions from other lawmakers including Hope Uzodimma, Tijani Kaura, Biodun Olujimi and others, the Senate President Bukola Saraki thanked Magu for his time and asked him to take his leave.
Saraki then noted that there is an administrative problem with regards to the DSS report. He asked the clerk of the senate if indeed he received two reports from the DSS Director General.
But the clerk said he had received only one letter.
Subsequently, Saraki puts the question before the members on whether Magu should be confirmed as the substantive EFCC chairman, but majority voted against it.
Former Senate Majority leader, Ali Ndume, however stood up to oppose the rejection of Magu, though he admitted that the majority will have its way but the minority must have its say.
Ndume insists that the Senate had received two letters from the DSS.
Speaking on the development, Saraki noted that “we should not rubbish the entire institution because of an individual.”
“This is a democracy and what we have done here is to ensure due process,”he said.