The Claim: An online blog, exclusive103.com on April 3rd, reported that the Senate president, Bukola Saraki had sacked Ibrahim Magu, the Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). The headline reads; “the fearless Bukola Saraki refuses to keep shut, sacks Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman, technically.” They further reported that Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has no substantive Chairman because the Presidency refused to remove Ibrahim Magu when the Senate rejected his nomination.
The Facts: Contrary to the headline, in the body of the news, it was reported that the Special Assistant on New Media, Ohu Onemola who represented the Senate president during the Orientation Program for senators-elect said that President Buhari’s options pertaining to the rejection of nominees were to lobby the legislature or present someone else as a nominee.
Ibrahim Magu was appointed Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 09 November 2015 after the former Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde was removed. The Senate had on two occasions refused to approve the president’s nomination of Magu as the substantive EFCC chairman causing a massive misunderstanding between the presidency and the Senate.
According to Section 171 of the Nigerian constitution; “Power to appoint persons to hold or act in the offices to which this section applies and to remove persons so appointed from any such office shall vest in the President”. “The offices to which this section applies are, namely, (a) Secretary to the Government of the Federation; (b) Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; (c)Ambassador, High Commissioner or other Principal Representative of Nigeria abroad; Permanent Secretary in any Ministry or Head of any Extra-Ministerial Department of the Federation howsoever designated; and (e) any office on the personal staff of the President.”
Whereas, Section 2(3) provides as follows: “The Chairman and members of the Commission other than ex-officio members shall be appointed by the President and appointment shall be subject to the confirmation of the Senate.”
The blogs post claiming that the Senate president; Bukola Saraki had sacked Ibrahim Magu, the Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is FALSE as facts before us show that constitutionally, the Senate President does not have the power to sack the EFCC boss. The Senate President never said such a thing in the first place and, the body of blog report entirely contradicted the headline.