Magu: Controversy continues as Attorney General Malami clarifies comments

Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, clarified his earlier statement on the raging controversies surrounding the continued stay of Ibrahim Magu as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the power of the Senate to screen and reject presidential nominees.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Malami said his comment that the power of the senate to screen presidential nominees was never discussed at the Federal Executive Council should not be misconstrued to mean that ‘the presidency disowned itself.’

“It has come to my notice that a number of media organisations have been distorting and misreporting the proceedings of yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) press briefing, and suggesting that the Presidency ‘disowned’ the Acting President on a matter relating to a presidential nomination,” the attorney general claimed.

“As the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, I would like to make it categorically clear that: The President – and in this case the Acting President – is the Presidency, and therefore cannot be disowned by the Presidency.

“All matters relating to Presidential Appointments and Nominations are strictly a matter for the Presidency to handle. They are not for the Federal Executive Council, and are therefore not discussed at FEC level. This was the point I made yesterday at the press briefing, and which was unfortunately distorted by the media,” he added.

Although the chief law officer claims his views were distorted by the media, his latest statement marks a departure from the response he earlier provided on Wednesday.

At the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting, a journalist asked Mr. Malami a clear question. “Has the Senate gone beyond its powers to actually screen nominees from the president?” Leon Osigbe of Tribune newspaper asked.

As the chief law officer of the country, Mr. Malami could have responded by saying the content of his Thursday night statement, which now appears an afterthought.

Rather, on Wednesday afternoon, he distanced the Federal Executive Council from the stance of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on the matter.

“The fundamental consideration about the alleged statement is the fact that at no point ever did the Federal Executive Council sit down to arrive at the decision in one way or the other as far as the issue of nomination or otherwise is concerned,” Mr. Malami said.

“So, I do not think it constitutes an issue for the Federal Executive Council to make any clarification about because it has never been considered by the Federal Executive Council,” he added.

In his reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson also said Mr. Osinbajo’s stance was a personal opinion of the acting president and not that of the Executive.

Mr. Osinbajo had stated his stance in April in an interview with journalists and activists while responding to a question on the continuous stay of Mr. Magu as EFCC chairman despite Senate rejection.

“I fully agree with Mr. (Femi) Falana that there was no need in the first place to have presented Mr. Magu for confirmation,” Mr. Osinbajo said, making reference to Section 171 of the constitution.

That statement by the Acting President angered the Senate which said Mr. Osinbajo was questioning its constitutional powers to confirm presidential nominees and therefore suspended actions on new confirmation requests by the presidency.

On Thursday, the Acting President restated that Mr. Magu would continue in office as EFCC chairman despite the Senate’s actions.

Despite Mr. Malami’s clarification on Thursday, however, he still failed to answer the question by the journalist which was put to him as the chief law officer of the country: “Has the Senate gone beyond its powers to actually screen nominees from the president?”

While the Executive continues to obfuscate its stance on the question, the Senate insists it has constitutional powers to screen presidential nominees including Mr. Magu and maintains its resolution not to attend to other nominees until the matter is resolved and the EFCC chairman removed.


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  • marig

    Pmb has never come out to make a statement on this issue.This is the main reason this controversy is raging. Sometimes, i feel that Buhari does not have what it takes to run this country. Yes, he has intergrity but that alone is not enough. You need to lead and let the country know exactly where you stand on issues. Honestly, i don’t think he is a coward but he behaves like one.

    • George

      The so called Buhari integrity has NEVER BE VERIFIED pls now he is in the open you can see he is nothing but a complete liar and a disappointment from the pit of HELL.

      I WILL STOP MEDICAL TOURIST so where is he now.

      He made that useless statement just to spark GEJ because Mama Peace went to Germany for health issues behold she was back and he is forgotten in UK. You can’t mock God.

    • By-Line

      @disqus_08Do4H2Esw:disqus

      I am concerned about the grammatical lexis and structure of Nigeria’s federal attorney general;
      Abubakar Malami. His grammar is lewd and below par; and almost a disgrace to other lawyers.
      I did not let my son listen to this audio despite his insistence because my son is so emotional
      he could burst into tears for a country President Muhamadu made illiterate with appointments.
      Attorney General Malami said that: “At no time did Federal Executive Council sat…….” Wow!

      That was the moment i removed my earphone and started whistling to myself perplexed at
      what Nigeria under Buhari has become. I recall that fish rots from the head and that once
      Nigerians elected a nearly illiterate president other types of illiteracy would follow since
      only the shallow can call to the shallow. But somehow i’d thought the post of attorney
      general would survive the Buhari depredation. I was wrong.

  • Curtx Maccido

    Horrible AGF….simply a saboteur, why the statement in the first instance….his loyalty is QUESTIONABLE and possibly one of the viruses in buhari’s administration. There is nothing like FEC opinion when there’s a President or Acting President! The lousy malami should have screamed loud and clear that EFCC Act that requires it Chairman confirmation by the senate is INCONSISTENT with s.171 (1) of the constitution, and perhaps go to court for clarification and shut the legislooters ….Nonsense!

    • George

      His loyalty is QUESTIONABLE to whom, the coordinator.

      Do you understand the WORD COORDINATOR. MEANING oversees your mates, fellows with equal rights.

      • Curtx Maccido

        can you imagine? some of you should be charged and jailed – why are you referring to OUR ACTING PRESIDENT as coordinator? can believe you are this shallow minded – an error the senate has since rectify is what you are still referencing….why do we have so many horrible people in this country?

        • Iniabasi Akpan

          Can u imagibe ….if u say so then the person that initially referred to the acting president as coordinator should b charged and jailed.simple.

          • Curtx Maccido

            It was an error which was corrected by the senate….so it never happened, are you as dumb?

          • George

            Keep crying and as for me he is less than coordinator.

            Yoruba can’t take over Buhari presidency that is it

          • Man_Enough

            only dead men don’t make mistakes. the important thing is to correct them when you realize.

      • KBE

        In the face of the constitutional provision the phrase Acting President or Coordinator is of no consequence. The letter transmitted to the senate quoted relevant laws that empowered the person occupying the seat to function in the full capacity of the President. FULL STOP.

  • NoBeLie

    Why is Premium Times causing confusion na?

    • George

      They caused confusion during GEJ and confusion will forever abide with them and those who approved the confusions then.

  • George

    Lets be frank here;

    Has all past EFCC chairman screened by the senate before now, if yes, why this time we are speaking differently.

    When OBJ created the EFCC who approved the ACT?

    Then did OBJ SENT Ribadu name to the Senate for confirmation, if yes, why different tone now.

    Has Yaudua sent Fraud-da name to the Senate, if yes, what has change now.

    Did GEJ sent Lamardo name to the Senate, if yes, why are we dancing naked now.

    Nigeria is only setting a standard that will destroy them in future mark my work. If you think senate has no power to reject what you sent to them why are you asking them to screen your nomination.

    Screen simply means VERIFY and if they VERIFY and see something WRONG should they not have the POWER to say hey this mango is rotting?

    • Akoko

      And we must add that Mr Know-It-All Femi Falana never raised an eyebrow then.

    • Opekete

      Not when the leadership of the Senate is under investigation by the person they are asked to screen. They are sitting to judge a case in which they are principal suspect. The law that created the efcc did not envisage a situation like the one prevailing in the Senate where 70 percent of the members are under investigation for corruption. I think the presidency is right. Magic may not be confirmed but he may continue in acting position.

  • INTERPRETER

    @disqus_08Do4H2Esw:disqus

    Premium Times professionally
    cast a correct headline. Where a decision on a matter of national importance
    requires federal council assent preceded by deliberation for validity, any view
    that’s expressed by an individual member of the federal council is a personal
    viewpoint which does not equate the decision of the federal executive council to
    rise to the status of the position of the federal government of Nigeria as a whole.
    With good logic Premium Times thus correctly inferred that a personal opinion
    is personal to the person uttering it; and viz-aviz the federal council – which is
    yet to meet on the issue – any person holding a personal opinion is on his own.

    • KBE

      “All matters relating to Presidential Appointments and Nominations are strictly a matter for the Presidency to handle. They are not for the Federal Executive Council, and are therefore not discussed at FEC level. This was the point I made yesterday at the press briefing, and which was unfortunately distorted by the media,” he added. That answers your submission.

  • Goddy Umahi

    @curtxmaccido:disqus

    And this Abubakar Malami is dressed almost in borrowed robes as SENIOR ADVOCATE OF NIGERIA [S.A.N] –
    a meaningless title signifying nothing but ignorance, as instantiated here again with Abubakar Malami speaking
    halting English below the level of an average Primary School pupil. What a sad story going on inside Nigeria?

    But why is it that only those of us abroad are lamenting the most? Why are Nigerians at home doing nothing
    to better their own lives by getting rid of the APC illiterates destroying the country?What is the meaning of
    the president or the acting president is the presidency and can never be disowned by the presidency?
    What does that statement of Abubakar Malami mean in English language for God’s sake?

    • Peter_Edo

      Getting rid of APC illiterates and replace them with who?

      • Charles

        WITH APC LITERATES.

        • Peter_Edo

          Gbam!

    • tundemash

      Clown, if you had followed events , maybe you would understand his clarification.

      And about you coming down to Nigeria to lead the mob that would get rid of the “APC illiterates destroying the country
      ” and replace with who ?

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  • bayobe

    The Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo is doing Malami’s job for him because Malami since he came into office is yet to show Nigerians exactly what is the relevance of him or his office to this government when any law issue arises. As the most senior law officer of the government you would expect Malami to be the one spearheading interpretation of the law for the govt especially in regard of this disagreement between the executive and the legislatures on who is right or wrong and what the law really says. He has never make a stand on any serious law issue, he’s is just a figurehead.

    • Opekete

      The attorney general has no power to interpret the constitution. He is to enforce the law and also give legal advise to the federal government. Thank God the acting President is a professor of law.

  • KBE

    Based on this clarification from Malami Shehu’s comment is even more damaging. He said the Acting President’s stance on Magu is his ‘personal opinion’. Which means in his own consideration the opinion is not that of his boss in this case Muhammadu Buhari neither is it of the law. The presidency appear to be in disarray in my opinion. Everyone seems to be doing what pleases him. In particular Shehu and Adesina have ceased albeit temporarily to exist as long as Buhari is away and should refrain themselves from making comments on presidency matters and this is my advice to them from henceforth.

    • Mufu Ola

      Go back to your Secondary school English teacher for more tutoring.

    • tundemash

      Wailing wailer, tarry a bit and it would further be broken down for you. Meahwile did you read this above ;

      “As the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, I would like to make it categorically clear that: The President – and in this case the Acting President – is the Presidency, and therefore cannot be disowned by the Presidency.

      “All matters relating to Presidential Appointments and Nominations are strictly a matter for the Presidency to handle.
      O ya move unto another wailing !

      • 0tile

        Abubakar tundemash,

        Are you now this empty?

  • muazu wali

    PT you are not helping Nigerians. I beg you, drop this issue. WE know what yiu are up to. You have unnecessarily exposed your proprietor’s leening and interests.

    • KBE

      You have displayed a lack of understanding in this matter. The citizens have a right to know and that is what PT is doing, letting them know what is going on. PT has done nothing wrong here and this has nothing to do with the ‘proprietor’.

      • muazu wali

        That’s the way I understand the reading behind the lines. If they intend to help nigerian citizens there is a better way of presenting the issue. After presenting the two views, this said this and that said that, we expect their comments on their understanding as professional media men and women. As it is they lead us to urgue where is the truth!? Like you and I have done, sowing mistrust and reading what should not be there. Instead of encouraging understanding and unity among Nigerians they instll devisions and mistrust. That is in fact the current trend of Nigerian media.

  • Watch man

    Osinbajo is the Acting President. Any member of cabinet that is misrepresenting him or doing something that is unconstitutional should be sanctioned immediately, even if it means releasing the person. This is not personal business but constitutional governance.

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    • George

      You people will kill as before face your Igbo land which is five states.

      Be warn South South isn’t Igbo.

  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    Sir, Section 171(2) is very clear on those who do not need this Senate confirmation.

    Section 154(1) and the 2002 EFCC Act (Establisment Act) is also very clear on this.

    Mr. Magu has to be confirmed by the Senate.

  • George

    Those who helped Monkeys and Baboons back to power must face the consequence alone and let other Nigerians to rest while they sort themselves out accordingly.

    Diya and Abacha scenarios is about to play out again God will surely enable them.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    The position of the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, is exclusively the exclusive right of the president or acting president to filled position and the senate, is constitutional requires to confirm such appointee.But, like the current situation whereby the president Buhari’s appointee-Ibrahim Magu,of EFCC-who is performing excellently and satisfactorily, was rejected by the senate, for no justifiable-reason, the president must retained him because, the war on endemic corruption must not be sacrificed at the alter of corrupt-instinct-rejection by the senate. Ibrahim Magu, must be confirmed by the senate, as anti-corruption war must not falter.

    • George

      You are animal to say Senate rejected Magu for no justifiable reason.

      Did you animal just forgot the Letter from DSS.

      The DSS is headed by your half dead buhari yet they wrote a damming report on buhari choice and buhari couldn’t able to avert it yet you want the senate not to act on the report presented to them by the security with power to report to the senate.

      You Yorubas are becoming too animalistic vultures

    • 0tile

      You and your colleague kay soyemi (fake esq.) are beasts. Did both of you study in the same academy where you learned your windy logic? Ifa, give yorubas their Oduduwa Republic so that they stop fooling_themselves trying to please the Fulanis.

  • thusspokez

    “All matters relating to Presidential Appointments and Nominations are strictly a matter for the Presidency to handle. They are not for the Federal Executive Council, and are therefore not discussed at FEC level. This was the point I made yesterday at the press briefing, and which was unfortunately distorted by the media,” he added.

    In a manner of speaking, Malam Malami put one foot in the bath water to test it before getting in. Ouch!! It was too hot! So he retreated with second degree burn. Clearly, on this occasion, Mr. Osinbajo has shown that he is not the weak GEJ.

    • Dawood

      Good point. Useless, treasonous MalamI should be fired. He’s part of the treasonous cabal in Buhari’s administration working to sabotage the war on corruption. FIRE MALAMI TODAY!

      • joe

        The last 2 attorney-generals had to flee the country to avoid prosecution for the grievous crimes they committed. Why is it that attorney-generals are always criminals? Does it.mean most legal-practitioners in country are criminals?

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      Well your perspective though, his stand was my stand yesterday, when you misquoted me as beating about the bush. You know Nigerian journalists,always writing before they they think.

  • Patrick Otobo

    What Premium Times is doing is nothing short of journalistic assassination. Yellow journalism! Musikilu Mojeed and the dubious promoters of Premium Times are known for doing hatchet job for pecuniary considerations.

    • Dawood

      No mind PT. It can make itself more useful on this matter by conducting a poll. Should Magu stay or not? Is the Senate a corrupt and useless body?

      • serubawon70

        YES

      • joe

        The latter poll would be pointless. Everyone, including the Senate itself, knows that ” the Senate is a corrupt and useless body”

  • Gary

    Latest case of a now endemic malaise of the Buhari regime – Foot-in-Mouth Disease.
    They make make patently false or daft public statements and now spend days clarifying what a little thinking before prattling would have averted.

    Malami impudently threw shade at Osinbajo and is now furiously backpedaling from his remarks and of course blaming PT for putting him on the spot about what he said.

    It is now dawning on some of our unelected tingods in Aso Rock that the Sun does not rise nor set on their say so. We can only have one President at any given time. Get with the program or take a hike.

  • ojays

    NASS should go to supreme court for clarification, presidency has taken a stand if nass disagree go to the third and final arm of govt to settle it.

    • joe

      Where judges are patiently waiting for the highest bidder.

  • ojays

    PT is being mischievous what’s the difference bn the two statements. Non FEC can’t discuss what’s not their matter.
    Maybe PT is doing this for pecuniary gains

  • Bunkaya Gana

    So long as these Government officials do not talk to themselves before making statements, they will continue to issue clarifications that clarify nothing. God, when will this be over?.

  • Hassan Lawal

    …the Malami guy is too feeble for me..if he’s truly a kingkong ..why cant he own up.these were the same guys that thought PMB to make the “i belong to nobody “statement…..bunch of Thieves…..bastards!!!

  • 0tile

    When Imam is transferred to Saudi Arabia we know the game is over.

  • Mufutau Abdul-Yakeen

    If the nominees of the President are not subjected to anybody’s scrutiny it means we are no longer practising democracy but autocracy.