Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 dismissed the suits challenging the stay of Ibrahim Mustapha Magu as Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.
The suits were contesting the legality of Magu’s position as EFCC acting Chairman after the refusal of the 8th Senate under the leadership of Bukola Saraki to confirm him as substantive chair of the premier anti-graft agency.
But in her judgment on Wednesday, Justice Ojukwu dismissed the suits. According to her, “this case cannot be entertained as it has failed and accordingly dismissed.”
She held that the EFCC Act, especially Section 2(3) did not restrict the powers of the president to retain Magu as Acting EFCC Chairman.
Waxing poetic, the trial judge noted that the lacuna in the law literally handed President Muhammadu Buhari, the “proverbial yam and the knife to do as he pleases, being that there is no specific time stipulated for acting capacity”
Clarifying further, Justice Ojukwu stated that Order 1(2)1 of the Senate Rule applies only to ministerial appointees and cannot be enforced on the position of the acting chairman of the EFCC.
Additionally, the judge noted that despite the fact that plaintiff is a legal practitioner and a Nigerian, he lacked the locus standi to challenge Magu’s stay in office as the acting chairman of EFCC.