Magu: Presidency to approach Supreme Court over appointment crisis

The Presidency is set to approach the Supreme Court over the lingering crisis between the executive and the National Assembly over the powers of the President to appoint some heads of government agencies without senate approval, Punch reports.

A source in the Presidency said the decision was based on legal advice given to the executive.

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Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had stated that the executive does not need the approval of the senate to appoint Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman.

The statement had angered the legislators who suspended the approval of all appointees.

A source on Sunday said the legal advice recommended that a judicial pronouncement, preferably by the Supreme Court, would settle the matter.

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He added that Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen had once ruled on the same matter in favour of the Presidency’s argument.

“The divergent positions being held by the executive and the legislative on the subject of confirmation is one that requires timely and ultimate resolution. Such resolution could only be reached through judicial process.

“Such interpretation would lay to rest the lingering crisis between the two arms,” the source stated, quoting the recommendation made in the legal advice.

He added, “In fact, it will be recalled that this particular nomination was presented four times in 18 months before it was eventually confirmed by the Senate.

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“This position is because of the long established and entrenched principle of law that any legislation, that is inconsistent with the provision of the Constitution, is null and void and of no effect whatsoever to the extent of such inconsistency. (See the Supreme Court cases of DR. OLUBUKOLA ABUBAKAR SARAKI v. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (2016) LPELR-40013 (SC) and CHIEF ISAAC EGBUCHU v. CONTINENTAL MERCHANT BANK PLC & ORS (2016) LPELR-40053 (SC).

“In the case of CHIEF ISAAC EGBUCHU v. CONTINENTAL MERCHANT BANK PLC & ORS (Supra), Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, who today is the Chief Justice of the Federation, held, at page 19, paragraph C, ‘The time-honoured principle of law is that wherever and whenever the Constitution speaks any provision of an Act/Statute, on the same subject matter, must remain silent’.”

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