The Senate has been dragged before the Federal High Court, Abuja over its presumed bid to reconsider the nomination of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after the parliament had earlier rejected same nomination based on a security report. Also joined in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the EFCC as well as Magu.
A constitutional lawyer, Chukwukasi Jideobi, who filed the suit, is asking the court to determine whether having regard to the provisions of Section 2 (3) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004, the rejection of Magu’s nomination by the Senate on December 15, 2016 has not ended his tenure as the Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency.
In the originating summons exclusively obtained by New Telegraph, the plaintiff is seeking a declaration that by virtue of Section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act, Ibrahim Magu cannot continue to function in office as Acting Chairman of the Commission after the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria rejected his nomination.
Jideobi argued that the failure of Magu to vacate his office as Acting Chairman of the EFCC after the rejection of his nomination by the Senate has disqualified him from further consideration for confirmation as the substantive chairman of the commission by the parliament.
In the summons, Jideobi also argued that the Attorney General of the Federation and, by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria, are bound by the decision of the Senate rejecting Magu as Chairman of EFCC and cannot continue to treat, recognise, deal with him as acting chairman of the commission.
He further urged the court to declare that Magu “is not a fit and proper person” to lead the EFCC as its chairman either in its acting or substantive capacity.
The plaintiff is also seeking a declaration of the court that the EFCC, its servants and officers are bound by the decision of the Senate, rejecting Magu and cannot continue to treat, recognise or deal with him as the Acting Chairman of the commission.
It said that by virtue of Magu’s rejection by the Senate on December 15, 2016, all actions taken by him, especially charges and information filed in various courts since then should be declared illegal, null, void and invalid because he acted in excess of his legal term as Acting Chairman of the Commission.
In clear terms, the suit seeks an injunction restraining Magu, whether by himself, his servants, agents or privies, or in any manner whatsoever from functioning in office as performing or continuing to perform the duties of it, holding himself out or parading himself as Acting Chairman of the EFCC. Jideobi also sought an injunction restraining the Senate from receiving, entertaining, considering or deliberating upon any request, letter, application or demand for approval, confirmation or endorsement of Magu as Chairman of the EFCC.
In a letter dated March 2, 2017 and addressed to the Clerk of the Senate, the plaintiff recalled that that President Muhammadu Buhari had, on January 17, 2017, sent a letter to the Senate re-nominating Magu as Executive Chairman of the EFCC, but faulted the move, given the grave security reasons that informed Magu’s earlier rejection by the Senate.
The plaintiff urged the Senate to stay action on the said letter re-nominating Magu and requesting for his confirmation pending the determination of the suit already filed against him.