EFCC Chairmanship: Court strikes out suit challenging Magu’s nomination

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Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday threw out a suit challenging the continued parade of Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC).

The judge arrived at the decision after same was withdrawn by Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), who represented the plaintiff and rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.

In addressing the court, Oyetibo explained that upon being instructed to handle the case, he went through the file and took the decision to persuade the human rights activist to hands-off the case so as to further encourage Magu in his current war against corruption.

The SAN said: “There is need to give Magu the opportunity to continue the anti-corruption campaign of the present administration and since this case may affect Magu’s confirmation as such, it was better to discontinue it.”

To confirm the development, Adegboruwa on his part maintained that he was well persuaded by his counsel, that in his second coming, Mr. Magu will do a good job, to be more rule of law friendly and to be holistic in his approach to the anti-corruption drive of the administration.

However, the withdrawal of the suit was not opposed to by the counsel to the anti-graft agency, Wahab Shittu, who posited that the position would surely boost the anti-corruption war of the Buhari/Osinbajo administration.

According to Shittu, “The government needs the input and support of lawyers and activists like Mr. Adegboruwa, to bring their wealth of experience to bear on the fight again corruption.”

It would be recalled that Adegboruwa had instituted the suit, asking the court to henceforth restrain Magu, from parading himself as acting Chairman of the Commission.

According to the suit, which was filed on January 16, 2017, the rights activist prayed the court to compel the Senate not to entertain any further request for the confirmation of Magu as Chairman.

The suit has as defendants: The Senate, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the EFCC and Magu.

While arguing that Magu has been functioning in acting capacity as EFCC Chairman, beyond the six months allowed by law, the radical lawyer posited that since the Senate had rejected Magu as substantive chairman of EFCC, he could not thereafter be illegally functioning in acting capacity.

Adegboruwa made reference to the provisions of section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act, with a further contention that the section makes confirmation by the Senate, a condition precedent to the appointment of the EFCC Chairman.

The human rights activist maintained that since the provision of section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act was activated by forwarding the nomination of Magu to the Senate, he could not defy the decision of the Senate, which rejected him for the substantive appointment.

In the circumstance, Adegboruwa is praying the court to restrain the EFCC and all other authorities, from recognising, treating or in any other manner, dealing with Magu as the Chairman of EFCC, either in acting or substantive capacity.

The lawyer equally wants a declaration that given his conduct in office so far, he is not a fit and proper person to function in office as Chairman of EFCC.

He equally wants an order directing Magu to vacate and relinquish his office as EFCC Chairman, whether in acting or substantive capacity.

Adegboruwa is equally calling on the judge to declare void, all actions taken by the EFCC under the tenure of Magu, especially charges and information preferred in court.

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