Nigeria: Court Okays Magu's Continued Stay As EFCC Acting Chair

5 December 2019

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, wednesday dismissed the suits challenging the stay of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The suits were contesting the legality of Magu's position as EFCC acting chairman after the refusal of the Eighth Senate to confirm his nomination.

But in her judgment, Justice Ojukwu dismissed the suits, saying: "This case cannot be entertained as it has failed and accordingly dismissed."

She held that the EFCC Act, especially Section 2(3) did not restrict the powers of the president to retain Magu as acting chairman of the commission.

Sounding poetic, the trial judge noted that the lacuna in the law literally handed President Muhammadu Buhari, the "proverbial yam and the knife to do as he pleases, being that there is no specific time stipulated for acting capacity."

Justice Ojukwu stated that Order 1(2)1 of the Senate Rule applies only to ministerial appointees and cannot be enforced on the position of the acting chairman of the EFCC.

Additionally, the judge noted that despite the fact that the plaintiff is a legal practitioner and a Nigerian, he lacked the locus standi to challenge Magu's stay in office as the acting chairman of EFCC.

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