By Tunde Oyesina
Fresh move to unseat the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has begun before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Wale Balogun, has dragged the Federal Government before the court challenging the decision to retain Magu after he was rejected twice by the Senate.
In the originating summons dated August 25th, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Senate, EFCC and Magu were listed as 1st to 5th defendants respectively.
The plaintiff asked the court to hold that the appointment of the chairman of EFCC is mandatorily subject to the confirmation of the Senate by virtue of Section 2(3) of the EFCC Act.
Balogun also asked the court to hold that EFCC is a statutory body established by the EFCC Act and its composition, including the appointment of its chairman, is governed, circumscribed and regulated by the enabling Act.
He further asked the court to declare that Magu, having been rejected twice by the Senate, cannot continue to act and function as the acting chairman of EFCC.
Balogun also asked the court to declare that Section 2(3) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act is not inconsistent with Sections 153, 154 and 171 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).
He asked the court to restrain Magu from further acting and or continue to perform the functions of the chairman of the EFCC in acting capacity pending his confirmation by the Senate.
The lawyer asked the court to determine whether by virtue of Section 2(3) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act which establishes the office of the EFCC chairman, as the chief executive and accounting officer of the commission, whether the appointment of the chairman of the Commission is not subject to confirmation by the Senate having regards to the provisions of Sections 153, 154 and 171 of the constitution.
He also wants the court to determine whether EFCC is a statutory body that its composition, including the appointment of its chairman, is governed, circumscribed and regulated by its enabling Act or an extra-ministerial department which is governed and regulated by Section 171 of the constitution;
He submitted that if the answer to questions 1 and 2 is in the positive, he seeks determination on: Whether Magu has the power to lawfully continue to be and or operate as acting chairman of the EFCC indefinitely without confirmation by the Senate;
Whether it is lawful and constitutional for Magu to continue to act and or carry on the functions of the chairman of the EFCC in acting capacity indefinitely, having been rejected two times by the Senate; and Whether Section 2(3) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act is in conflict and or inconsistent with Sections 153, 154, S.171 of the Constitution.
The matter is yet to be assigned for hearing.