Magu's Confirmation: Court fixes Dec.4 for judgement

By Factnews on 07/11/2017

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday fixed December 4 to deliver judgement in a suit by an Abuja based lawyer, Mr Oluwatosin Ojaomo, seeking an order deeming the Senate to have confirmed the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in accordance with the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.


In what can be referred to as undefended suit, Justice John Tsoho consequently reserved judgement after Ojaomo adopted his written address.

The lawyer in the Senate and Magu case is asking the court to grant the three reliefs contained in the originating summons he filed on 24 January, 2017.


The other reliefs are a declaratory order that Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and National Assembly lack the statutory power to reject the appointment of Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the EFCC according to the agency’s Establishment Act, 2004.


He is also seeking for an order of the court activating its statutory powers for the interpretation of the provisions of section 2 (1) (a)(i)(ii)(iii)and 2(3) of EFCC (Establishment Act, 2004) with respect to the appointment of the Chairman of the EFCC by the President and the subsequent confirmation of the appointment by the Senate of the National Assembly according to the dictates of the law. Ojaomo, whose suit was supported by 20 paragraphs affidavit stated that the Senate of the National Assembly kept the appointment letter of Magu for six months and conducted a plenary session and through a press statement on December 15, 2016 by its spokesman announced that the appointment of Magu as substantive Chairman has been considered and rejected.


The plaintiff is further asking the court to hold as follows:


“That the Senate claim was that the rationale behind the rejection of Magu confirmation was based on an unfavourable security report received against the nominee


“That the Senate acted ultra vires by rejecting an appointment validly made by the President to the office of the Chairman of EFCC in accordance with section 2 (1)(a)(i)(ii)(iii) and section 2(3) of the EFCC establishment Act, 2004.


“That the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not possess the powers to reject a person appearing before it when the person is nominated and recommended to the Senate for screening, vetting and subsequent confirmation like the qualification of the appointee as sent by the President and where the Senate is of the view that they require additional information in accordance with the statutory requirements stipulated by the act with respect to the qualification of the appointee, they can refer to the President for further clarification, but not rejection.”


When the matter came up on Monday, Mr. K.K. Ogbonnaya announced appearance for the Senate and pleaded with the court for adjournment to enable him respond to the originating summons. But Ojaomo opposed Ogbonnaya’s request while the court subsequently discovered from its record that Ogbonnaya had not filed notice of appearance on the matter even though he admitted that the respondents; Senate President, National Assembly and Attorney General of the Federation were first served with the hearing notice of the matter on February 8, 2017.


In his brief ruling on the matter, Justice Tsoho held that since the hearing notice had previously been served on the defendants and the fact that the counsel have not filed appearance, the counsel was not entitled to be heard. “It is my conviction that the court cannot proceed with his application for adjournment and the oral application is refused.”



Posted on November, 7 2017

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