The Presidency is considering applying Section 171 of the Nigerian constitution to evade the Senate and appoint Ibrahim Magu as substantive head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This was made known to Journalists by a legal practitioner, Mr. Silas Joseph Onu.
Mr Onu said Section 171 allows the President to appoint heads of national agencies without recourse to the National Assembly.
He also said this clashes with the EFCC Act, which demands that its chairman ought to be confirmed by the Senate.
Onu, in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, said, among others: “Such a move would return the country to the anarchic days of his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
“The executive powers provided for in Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution have not given the Executive any discretion on selecting which law to respect or to interpret laws to suit their intendments as executives.
“Thus, the constitution is apt in creating responsibility in an orderly fashion by establishing the lawmakers first, then the implementer of the law and finally the interpreter of the law. I strongly take exception to a situation where the executive, directly or indirectly, interprets our laws to suit its present need without regards for the future.
“No matter what any senior lawyer or any senior citizen may feel or the opinion they may hold, they cannot purport to be exercising the powers giving to the court in Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution.
“It is all right to hold opinion, even if divergent. But it will amount to usurping the powers of the court for anyone to insist that his or her opinion must be taken as correct.”
My opinion is that the EFCC Act 2002 is a valid and subsisting law and same is an undeniable fact.”