A very tough legal battle is about to unfold before the Federal High Court in Abuja over the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as two different parties are now before the court over the issue.
The trial Judge, Justice John Tsoho, handling the matter has consolidated the separate suits since the subject matter revolves around Magu are fixed February 8, 2017, for hearing.
In the suit filed by a lawyer, Mr Oluwatosin Ojaomo, he is asking the court to make a declaratory order, deeming that the Senate has confirmed Magu’s appointment as the chairman of the EFCC following on the grounds of the provisions of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.
In his originating summons in suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/59/17, the plaintiff is also asking Justice Tsoho to hold that the Senate does not possess the statutory power to reject the valid nomination of Magu since the action of President Muhammadu Buhari in appointing Magu was in consonance with the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.
The lawyer joined the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as co-defendants to the suit.
In his 19-paragraph affidavit, the lawyer is further urging the court to hold that Magu has been validly nominated, arguing that the Senate can only demand additional information on Magu in accordance with the statutory requirements as stipulated by the EFCC Act.
He is also asking the court to hold that the role of the Senate in the appointment of validly nominated EFCC Chairman in the person of Magu by Buhari is to ensure that the action is in conformity with the requirements stipulated in section 2 (1) (a) (I) (ii) (iii) of the EFCC Act.
According to the plaintiff, once these requirements are fulfilled by the president, the Senate is statute barred from rejecting presidential appointee, insisting that no such provision is made for rejection of a presidential nominee for the office of the EFCC Chairman in the said EFCC Act.
Another suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Save Nigeria Group and the Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom of Human Rights Foundation International is asking the court to compel the president to nominate another person for Senate’s confirmation as the substantive Chairman of the EFCC following Magu’s rejection by the Senate.
The two groups are further asking the court in suit No FHC/ABJ/ CS/1072/16 to prohibit and restrict the president from further re-nominating Magu as the EFCC chairman, following the Senate’s rejection of his nomination.
Two lawyers, Mr Okere Nnamdi and Mr Marcus Saturday, have filed the matter on behalf of the groups.
The plaintiffs have also named the President, the EFCC, Magu, the Attorney- General of the Federation and the Senate as co-defendants to the suit.