By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-Reactions have continued to trail the ongoing raging battle between the Senate and Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo over the latter’s questioning of the Senate powers to confirm Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Reports in the traditional tabloids and online platforms had credited Professor Osinbajo as saying that the Senate’s confirmation of some presidential nominees was not needed; a development that reportedly infuriated the lawmakers to the point of threatening not to screen nominees send to them for confirmation in the future.
Matters got to a head at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday when the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) reportedly stated that Osinbajo’s position was largely his own and not a reflection of the position taken at the FEC meeting.
In a chat with Vanguard yesterday, former University Administrator and Newspaper columnists who pleaded anonymity said a “cabal” was out to cut the Acting President to size, adding that there are subtle moves by the power brokers to elevate the AGF as Vice President in the event of President Buhari’s inability to carry on with his duties as President and Commander-in-Chief.
“A terrible war is raging between the cabal and Osinbajo. The cabal, we learn, wants the AGF AS Vice President if Baba (President Buhari) can’t resume duties,” he said.
On his part, Constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, has warned Professor Osinbajo of possible impeachment over his stand on Magu, stressing that the continued retention of the EFCC Acting Chair constitute “gross misconduct” as spelt out in the laws of the land.
He said: “It is an impeachable offence for the Acting President to continue to retain Magu in office as Acting Chairman, as it amounts to “gross misconduct” as defined by section 143 of the 1999 Constitution. This is because a deliberate breach of the Constitution, or violation of extant laws, is an impeachable offence.”
Explaining further, the renowned Rights Activist noted that “The provisions of section 2(3) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 are all too very clear and straightforward to admit of any ambiguity. They simply provide that the President shall appoint the EFCC chairman subject to confirmation by the Senate.
“This simply means the EFCC chairman cannot act in office without approval by the senate. It becomes patently illegal and unconstitutional for Magu to continue to be brazenly retained in office, in spite of the hallowed doctrine of separation of powers and of checks and balances provided for in sections 4, 5, 6 of the 1999 Constitution