Why did the newly appointed head of agencies defy Osinbajo’s order to resume?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

The new heads of some agencies appointed by Prof Yemi Osinbajo while he was Acting President have declined his directive to resume their portfolios pending the Senate’s confirmation.

Vice President Osinbajo directed the new heads of the ICPC, CCB and PenCom to take up their roles and report to their offices on Monday, 21st August, 2017. This message was countered by the Senate last week which made it clear to the new officers that they were to await their approbation first before assuming their roles.

The agencies for which new heads were appointed are under the Presidency, but it is the belief of the Senate that its constitutional duty of giving assent to the appointments made by the Executive does extend to include those made for agencies under the Presidency.

This argument has become necessary following the insinuation by Prof Osinbajo, in line with Femi Falana’s opinion, that the EFCC Chairman did not need to be screened and approved by the Senate. It has been a particular point of disagreement for both arms of Government, with neither party backing down.

Finding themselves in the middle of the loggerheads between both, maintaining their status quo of non-deployment proves to be the more pragmatic choice, to avoid being in contempt of the legislature. The ICPC and CCB are particularly sensitive agencies, with some politicians as their targets; Senate President Bukola Saraki only just got off the hook from the Code of Conduct Tribunal’s inquisition. The ICPC secretary has resumed, but the CCB officials have held off the temptation to jump on board.

Rather than take the acting roles that would have made them play to the will of the Executive while anticipating the decision of the Senate, the politicized nature of the Magu example is perhaps the masquerade that has scared them away.

 

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