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20 Jul 2017

Magu: No going back on suspension of Presidency’s appointments, says Saraki

The crisis between the Senate and the Presidency seems to be far from over, as Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, on Thursday said the suspension placed by the legislature on confirmation of appointments made by the Presidency still stands.
Senate President Bukola Saraki

Saraki pointed out that the confirmation of Resident Electoral Commissioners at the plenary on Thursday did not mean that the lawmakers had backed down on their action against the Presidency.

Lawmaker representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, had raised a point of order shortly before the Senate confirmed the REC appointments to ask if the senators had made a U-Turn on the matter as reported in the media.

Abaribe said, “This morning, because of the reports in the newspapers that the Senate has soft-pedaled on the resolution by the Senate with regard to confirmation (of appointments) coming from the Executive, I
got a lot of phone calls from my constituency.

“As you know, my constituency – Abia-South – is represented in the Niger Delta Development Commission. When they saw the newspapers today, they called to find out whether this Senate has changed its stand on the confirmation of the NDDC representatives.

“Mr. President, I do not know and I want an explanation, if it is true.”

Saraki responded that the Senate usually respects its resolutions, affirming, “and we will never go against the resolutions of the body.”

He said, “If you can recollect, what we said was that anybody (appointment) that is explicitly stated in the Constitution – if you go to Section 153 or 171 – referenced to ministerial and ambassadorial
appointments are the only ones that we would continue to consider.

“These are ambassadors, ministers or bodies explicitly stated in the Constitution.

“All bodies that are by the law of the National Assembly (Acts of Parliament) are still affected by the resolution. The Independent National Electoral Commission is under Section 153(f).

“I want to reassure you that we have not moved away from this resolution. We don’t have the powers – just as presiding officers – to move away from it; we must come back to you (legislators).

“Please, disregard what you have seen in the newspapers and be guided that we presiding officers respect the law and respect our colleagues.”

The Senate had, on July 4, 2017, moved against the Presidency over the retention of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, despite his rejection by the legislature.

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