Again, Senate Defers Magu’s Screening Till Dec 15

The Senate yesterday failed to screen the acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

The parliament said it had opted to postpone the screening till December 15, in observance of the requests of some of its members who were absent yesterday but had expressed their desire to be part of the screening exercise.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, had on Wednesday during the plenary, announced that the acting Chairman of EFCC would be screened yesterday, almost six months after his letter of confirmation was sent to the Senate.

However, Magu had arrived at the Senate wing of National Assembly hoping that he would be screened but had to leave, having his hope and aspiration for yesterday unfulfilled.

Addressing journalists after yesterday’s plenary, the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, denied an observation by journalists that the cancellation of Magu’s screening was pre-meditated because it didn’t appear at all on Senate’s order paper yesterday.

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He insisted that it was a subtle protest by his colleagues who were not available yesterday that prompted the postponement, disclosing that December 15 had been chosen as the new date for the screening.

Na’Allah said: “Let me correct it. In fact, it was listed (on the order paper) and removed. The Senate is normally guided by the time frame of the work. We agreed that today (yesterday) would be the confirmation hearing for the EFCC acting Chairman, Magu, but yesterday, we received a lot of calls from senators who are away and who believe that they want to participate and that it is unfair for us to fix today when we know they are not around. When we look at the demands and the number, we felt it would be wrong for us to proceed, disregarding those calls.

 “Then, we said let us put it against Tuesday (next week. Again, we became too unsure as to whether Monday or Tuesday will be declared public holiday by the federal government in respect of the impending Eid- Malud holiday. We said it is now even more convenient on Wednesday. The President is going to present the 2017 budget before the National Assembly and the assumption is that more than 80 percent of the senators will be in attendance on that day. If 80 percent of the senators are there and they are aware that the confirmation hearing is the next day which is Thursday.

“It means that the idea of somebody going to say that the leadership of the Senate had short changed him from asking the question he wants to ask will not be there.

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We agreed at the leadership meeting that let us put it against Thursday. We have since written an official letter to the acting chairman, giving him that Thursday unfailingly is the day for the confirmation hearing of his appointment.”



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