“It clearly demonstrates the conflict within the Presidency” | Insiders speak on the Magu-Senate debacle

There have been a cocktail of views on the Senate’s rejection of Magu, the acting EFCC chairman for the second time. This rejection, which came swiftly after a surreal confirmation hearing, has sparked up controversy in different quarters, particularly regarding the rationale behind the actions of the Senate. Many have argued that the fact that some of the Senators have skeletons in their cupboard explains their resolute opposition to the emergence of the President’s candidate.

Our Insiders share varying opinions regarding this matter but most agree that the Presidency is divided against itself and that the Senate had acted within its powers giving the security report presented before it.

An Insider working for the APC opined that “Usually when the President wants to appoint ministers, he is guided by the DSS security report. Those who are not screened are not appointed, and the same principle ought to guide the nomination of the EFCC chair. Some have blamed the Senate but it’s the executive that seems to have dropped the ball in this case. The Senate is totally within its right to reject the nomination”

“Magu was nominated by the President and rejected by the Presidency. The Senate barely confirmed the basis of such a rejection. The Department of State Security Services, which is an agency under the command and control of the President, found Mr. Magu wanting in integrity. It categorically said Mr. Magu failed the integrity test. Should the Senate, therefore, on that basis go on to confirm him? Definitely  not. He failed the integrity test. He failed it. The Senate could not have helped him” said an Insider working for the PDP.

What would the Senate do if the DSS report that they usually rely on to screen nominees even before Magu’s case disqualified him based on Integrity, perhaps it is logical to say then that if this government is committed to fighting corruption as it has always professed, then it should not make a fuse out of the Senate’s rejection.

“It clearly demonstrated the conflict within the Presidency. Why would the President ignore security reports from the DSS? Why would the DSS not send the security report to the President directly? Why send it to the Senate? The President lacks coordination and whoever wants to blame the Senate for rejecting Magu should first consider if the Senate should ignore security report with grave implications while confirming nominees for appointments.” Said another Insider.

One other Insider sharing his view opined thus “I think the FG should avoid an impasse by recommending another candidate for the office if there is a law anywhere that says Magu can’t continue to serve as the Acting Chairman of the EFCC”.

An Insider with the APC shared a totally different point of view, according to him, “ It would appear that the Senate is pursuing a personal vendetta against Magu as the report purportedly relied on was the same one the EFCC Chairman had replied to after a query by the AG (Attorney general). When you realize  that the Senate is populated by  past governors, most of whom are under one form of investigation by the EFCC and the Senate is led by one currently undergoing multiple trials for corruption, you can fully understand why they are being recalcitrant. Magu can continue to act as EFCC boss for as long as the President wishes.’’

“It might not change much if Buhari still believes that he is the man for the job. He can choose to leave him in acting capacity for as long as possible.”

Yet irrespective of what these Insiders all feel about the matter and the controversy that surrounds it, the 8th assembly has decided.

These are members of the Political Insiders (Not all of whom participated in this issue)

Bukola Ogunyemi (APC), Amara Nwakpa (NA), Cheta Nwanze (NA), Seun Onigbinde (NA), Clarence Onyekwere (NA), Babatunde Ajileye (NA), Mark Amaza (NA), Saratu Abiola (NA), Henry Okelue (APC), Prince Deji Adeyanju (PDP), John Paul Akinduro (LP), Ebubedike Akabua (NA), Ikemesit Effiong (NA), Saatah Nubari (NA), Chinedu Ekeeke (NA), Abdul Mahmud (NA), Tunji Andrews (NA), Ileowo Kikiowo (APC), Ikenna Okonkwo (NA), Stanley Azuakola (NA), Gbenga Olorunpomi (APC), Rinsola Abiola (APC), Ayobami Oyalowo (APC), Oluseun Odewale (APC), Blossom Ozurumba (NA), Anthony Ehilebo (PDP), Ohimai Amaize (PDP), Bimbo Oke (PDP), Abigail Anaba (NA), Tony ‘Pox’ Iribor (NA), Michael Orodare (LP), Henry Nwazuruahu (PDP), Ojugo ‘Ojay’ Onyelukachukwu (PDP), Viola Okoli (PDP), Ariyo Dare Atoye (PDP), Oraye Franklin (PDP), Lai Labode (PDP), Akaebube (APGA), Aziza Uko (NA), Kayode Ajulo (LP)

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