Falana, others ask Presidency to approach apex court over Constitution interpretation

Humman rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), and some other prominent activists on Sunday, called on the Presidency to approach the Supreme Court for the interpretation of the 1999 Constitution regarding the confirmation of non-ambassadorial and non-ministerial nominees.

The advice was contained in statement jointly signed by Falana and some activists including Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, Lanre Suraj, Anwal Rafsanjani and Ezenwa Nwagwu.

The activists said since the Presidency and the Senate could not agree on the confirmation of Magu, it had become necessary for the Presidency to approach the Supreme Court.

They, however, maintained that the upper chamber of the National Assembly had no right to sack Magu since it had no power to hire him.

The statement read in part, “While the dispute over the budget had yet to be resolved, the Senate passed two controversial resolutions. The first resolution directed the Acting President to remove the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, from office.

“In a bid to ensure that the resolution was implemented, the Senate decided to put on hold any appointment which requires the confirmation of the Senate. Without mincing words, the Presidency has rejected the call for the removal of Magu.

“The executive is advised to seek judicial resolution of the stalemate over the confirmation of Magu’s appointment as the substantive chairman.

“Meanwhile, we assert that the Senate cannot annul his (Magu) acting appointment since his appointment was without the consultation with or confirmation of the Senate.”

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The human rights crusaders also criticised the House of Representatives for the summons to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who questioned the powers of the legislature to insert personal projects into and alter the budget.

The statement added, “This self-serving action of the National Assembly is capable of distorting the development agenda of the government.

‘‘It is hoped that the minister will take advantage of the invitation to convince the legislators on the urgent need to restore the development projects deleted from the budget.”

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