UPDATED: Senate right to reject Magu as EFCC chairman, Court rules

Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu [Photo: Channels TV]

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has affirmed the decision of the Senate to reject Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Mr. Magu was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari twice. In both times, the Senate rejected the nomination.

The court made the decision two weeks ago, but PREMIUM TIMES only got copies of the ruling on Thursday.

According to the ruling, Justice John Tsoho ruled that the applicant was wrong in its assumption that the Senate was only there to confirm any choice made by the executive.

The judge said the Senate has the powers to ensure that only suitable persons are appointed to the position of chairperson for the anti-corruption agency.

The applicant, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, had asked the court to declare as illegal the rejection of Mr. Magu by the Senate.

According to the motion contained in a 20-paragraph affidavit, filed on January 24, Mr. Ojaomo asked the court to reverse the rejection of Mr. Magu on the grounds that the Senate “lacked powers to reject a nominated candidate for the said position”, following his (Ojaomo’s) interpretation of the EFCC act, 2004.

According to the motion, Mr. Ojaomo sought the determination of two issues by the court: whether the senate had powers to reject a validly nominated candidate for the position of EFCC chairman, by the presidency.

He also asked the court to determine if the senate was not bound by the provisions of the EFCC act 2 (3) to confirm any candidate nominated by the presidency for the said position.

The applicant argued that the provisions of section 2; subsections (i) (ii) (iii) as well as section 2 (3) of the EFCC act, 2004 does not give the Senate the authority to scrutinise any choice of a candidate made by the president for the position.

According Mr. Ojaomo, the provisions of the sections that the Presidency ‘Shall” nominate a candidate while the senate “shall” confirm the nominated candidate means that the role of the senate is only to affirm the decision of the presidency and not to question it.

In his ruling however, Mr. Tsoho said the sections referred to by the applicant were misconceived.

According to the judge, the said sections provide that the presidency makes the nomination “subject to” the ratification by the Senate.

“More importantly the expression; ‘subject to’ used in section 2 (3) of the EFCC act is very instructive. It has been categorically stated that the phrase, ‘subject to’ introduces a condition, a limitation,” the judge noted among other points.

“On the issue of the authorities therefore the expression subject to should be understood to simply mean; ‘depending on’. Accordingly the import of section 2 (3) of the EFCC act is that the appointment of a chairman made by the Presidency is dependent on confirmation by the senate.

“The Senate is thus confirmed with authority to ensure the choice of only suitable and credible persons for the appointment to that office. The submission of the plaintiff however gives the impression that the senate only exists to rubber stamp the President’s appointment of a chairman. Such view runs counter to the proper intendment of section 2 (3) of the EFCC act 2004 and is misconceived. Consequently this suit is struck out,” the judge ruled.


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  • FreeNigeria

    Mumu Mugu Magu Must GO. Enough mediocrities

  • Mike

    That’s a confirmation of the Senate’s ‘advice and consent’ power. Always been there.

  • Dawood

    Magu is not going anywhere. Saraki and his gang of looters just wasted their monies on Judge TSo-Hoe.

  • Emeka

    Corruption is fighting so hard, and has successfully used this judge to deliver this kangaroo judgement. We have appeal court and Supreme Court, the looters shouldn’t rejoice just yet.

    • Silent_mejority

      There is no need for appeal. The court said the sanate has the right to reject Magu’s nomination, it did not invalidate the right of the president to keep him in acting capacity if he so wishes.This what the sanate is supposed to have chalenged in court

      • Emeka

        Abi!?? I didn’t see it from that angle, but I believe it’s a strong point. A court isn’t a Father Christmas that gives what wasn’t sort for… I agree with you.

  • Sam

    It is a pity , how this Godless mofos are treating us Nigeria , I blame Buhari for Naively allowing saraki to take over the NASS from inception. That decision has rubbished the entire party .SMH.

  • kus1

    Meaningless judgement !!
    The issue at stake has never been the rightness of the Senate in rejecting an executive appointee.
    The issue is; can the executive keep a senate rejected appointee in acting capacity indefinitely ??
    Until that question is answered, every other judgment is meaningless.

    • Malik

      Thank you

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Great observation, but it was the Presidency that sought clarification on what is ordinarily a moot point.

      Funny enough, the Judiciary will not be able to make a pronouncement on that because the 1999 Constitution is dead silent on that poser.

      It is a Constitutional defect or loophole that the Presidency can, and is using.

  • Tommy Soto

    This bears repeating: NASS(Senate) and many in Nigerian Judiciary are equal = partners in national crime.

  • Eyo

    Nigeria judiciary and the senate are same – corrupt and incompetent. Magu stays irrespective of the bogus corrupt judge says. some pipo no go die well o!

  • Screw-em

    Enemies of Nigeria can shake, bend and dance all they want over this onerous decision by a corrupt filty louse of a “judge”. 9ja’s will continue to urinate on the theiving NASS members by supporting Magu regardless. He remains the right man for the job and therefore will be retained by Sai Baba!!

  • Hajiya tunsj soyemi

    E b like say as saraki overtake Tinubu for senate president still dey pain the APC-SW e-flies o!
    Se as tundemash, Kay soyemi and co don change name to ‘Sam, soto, dawood, emeka’ etc!

    • Kaydutch


    • Otile

      My friend Abubakar tunemash will not do such a thing, he knows when to keep quiet, his fault though is that he is rude and illogical. Nevertheless, nobody can hold him back from worshiping his god, Imam Mohamed.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Yawn, O faceless stealer of names and minion of the ineffectual buffoon.

  • Zacchaeus Akinleye, ME, P.E.

    I blame Buhari for allowing DSS-DG Lawan Daura to thumb his nose at him by preparing a prejudiced security report being used to scuttle Magu’s confirmation by the house of thieves called Senate. If the president refuses to remove IGP Idris, AGF Malami, COS Kyari, Defence Minister Ali and other deadwoods in his cabinet he owns the blame for the disaffection in the land.



  • persona

    For once, let the EFCC also give politicians a dose of their medicine.
    EFCC should go from high to supreme court and any other court to lock the NASS from acting on this injustion.
    A perpetual injunction from entertaining the “choice” of the president should also be sought….i dey laff.
    If Odili and Fayose can get relief that accounts cant be audited, EFCC should also not be subjected to “EFCC’s internal affairs”.


      It appears you didn’t comprehend the decision of the Court. The Judgment is in favour of the Senate. The EFCC lost out in the case.

      In other words, the Honourable Judge held that the Senate was right in rejecting PMb’s nomination of Magu as EFCC Chairman.

      • KELLOGGS

        Nigeria has a lot of unsung heroes, and Justice Tsoho is one of duch, by just following proper jurisprudence, doing the right thing, he makes the list.

        This Magu is a terrorist, once he refused to step down upon rejection by the Senate. And you goddamn know it!

      • Justice and Fairness

        The Federal Government ought to approach the court via an appeal disqualifying all those who have either been indicted or have a case pending before the EFCC from having the power to decide on its chairmanship.

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Sadly, this would fail.

          As long as these are validly elected members of the NASS.

      • persona

        Do lighten up…its sarcasm.
        Politicians delay judgement in court

  • marcos avelino

    How can Saraki confirm Magu , the man who docked him and his wife in court

    • shasha

      Always get your facts correct. Whatever we write shows our level of IQ, Saraki was docked by CCB for asset declaration while the wife was arranged by EFCC headed by Ibrahim Larmorde not Magu

      • Sanssouci

        She was even only called for questioning, no arraignment

    • Otile

      It is not a question of tit for tat, there is too much injustice going on among Northern leaders. Gaskiya ne.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Thank you.

  • Rollingdollar

    Listen my people, please listen and be wise. I know some of you like Magu so much. But this situation is not to the benefit of the country. This situation only favours Buhari and his cabal and renders the EFCC chairman impotent against the executive in the anti graft campaign. Have you wondered why Magu is afraid to arrest anybody close to Aso Rock? It’s because without confirmation by National Assembly, he becomes open to Presidential blackmail. He can quickly be fired with a stroke of pen. So the Presidency is enjoying the status of Magu as an uncornfirmed anti corruption crusader. Do you get my drift now? But if you have an EFCC chairman that’s confirmed by senate, he will be fearless, as he can not be fired unless by the proclamation of the National Assembly. Please my people, let us impress it on Buhari to send another name to the National Assembly. This country must be liberated. Let’s be wise ‘Our mumu don do’

    • Otile

      Liberation is around the corner, 2019 cannot come sooner; anyway this too will pass away.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Your mumu Never do.

      Don’t try and be clever by half.

      This is nothing but a puerile attempt to coral people into a thinking this very partisan position is a neutral call.

  • thusspokez

    What is the point of this case? Senate rejected Mr Magu as Chairperson of the EFCC, hence he is not the bona fide Chairperson of the EFCC, but in an acting role, instead. It would make some sense if the Senate were objecting to Mr. Magu’s acting role, but then who Buhari appoints in acting role is for him only to decide and not the Senate.

    • Malik

      Don’t mind Saraki’s Senate, they are too clever by half.

      • Otile

        You Buhari worshipers are backing the wrong horse again.

    • Sanssouci

      Totally senseless judgement. The law is an ass as the saying goes. If Magu can act Indefinitely of what consequence is this pronouncement other than to generate needless sensationalism? Justice Tsoho if the Senate is “allowed” to reject a candidate but that candidate is allowed to continue his functions with the sole inconvenience being the lack of “substantive” in the way he is addressed, then indeed the Senate is nothing more than a rubber stamp.

      • Otile

        No it shows how lawless Buhari is.

    • YYY


      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)




      • Otile

        You Muslims value that hi5 so much. May be without your immense hi5s Buhari would have quit after getting low evaluations on weekly basis. The only time Imam gets passing mark is when his Presidency evaluates him, but that doesn’t do us any good.


      Acting role ends after Senate consideration. As soon as the Senate reject the nominee, the person is OUT!

    • Otile

      Where did you read your own law? Did you pass your bar in a Sudanese sharia court? You Muslims are getting lower and lower nowadays. Allah.

    • Silent_mejority

      With many lawyers amongst them, the sanators still do not seem to understand legal issues.

  • Höly Wähala

    Thief Magu has been legally declared an invalid, unfit for public office especially a critical one like our EFCC… I have been vindicated, LoL!

  • Isyaku Muhammad

    So what? Either they like it or not, Magu is substantive Acting EFCC Chairman.
    Ridiculous and Hypocrites Senate of Saraki and Melaye

    • Iniabasi Akpan

      Whether they like it or not…. How hollow. Do u understand that d law supersedes everything in d land, including your foolery?
      How did these people get so low?
      We really need to change these jokers before they finish this great nation.

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Which Section of the law are you relying upon to validate the (in)action of the Senate and your “foolery”?


    The court is only saying the obvious.Nobody ever say the senate don’t have the power to reject the FG appointment as in the case of Magu However, the ultimate power to appoint as acting chairman indefinitely during his tenure still remain the president power just like Obasanjo did also.


      With all due respect, you have the brain of an ant!

      • Emeka

        “Brain of an ant is very much better than (you) object with no brain at all.”

  • Gerald Okoduwa

    “Court says senate has power to ensure only suitable a person is appointed as EFCC Chairman”. What of where you have an unsuitable senate with more than half of its members on criminal trial in courts and led by a suspect on corruption trial? Immorality cannot check morality.

    • Deji

      Then we blame the people who elected them as their representatives.

      • Justice and Fairness

        Majority of them were never elected. They were rigged in. You, can you boast you elected your own representative. Do you even know him or her?

        • Dgreat

          Then we Blake the body that rig them in.

  • Sanssouci

    Lol! Bros long time. But the meat of this whole issue still remains, the Senate can be maligned forever, but the letter on the basis of which he was rejected twice emanated from the DSS i.e. presidential inner circle. If that is not incongruous I don’t know what is

  • Tickle

    I really want to know if there is a law against keeping Magu in acting capacity indefinitely. If there is none, then why all the fuss to get the SENATE nod? I guess the Senators will never allow Magu’s confirmation based on his hawkish antecedent in EFCC. The Lawmakers will rather prefer a malleable candidate or one which has been negotiated on what are the “no go” areas.

    • Frank Bassey

      You miss the point. Something pre-dated the argument of ‘keeping Magu in acting capacity indefinitely’, that is the constitutionality of obtaining Senate confirmation over Magu’s appointment. And that is what the court has resolved. The Senate has the power to confirm/reject Magu’s appointment. If Senate confirmation was not necessary, why approach it for the purpose in the first place? That is why the court said the Senate is not there to “rubber-stamp” Magu’s appointment. That is the fundamental issue. Your prejudices for/against Magu is not tenable here. He is a public servant’ he is not appointed to supervise his father’s estate.

    • Tunsj

      The rogues are scared of Magu. Period.

    • man

      there no law. this many be saraki’s doing. when you have a crook as senate leader, what do yyou think we happen?

  • Frank Bassey

    In the culture of impunity, arrogance and shallow-thinking for which this government is known, nothing will happen to Magu. Our Law Professor VP, will soon advise appealing the judgement – up to God, if possible.

  • man

    dont hire this ojaoma guys as your lawyer. another dumb lawyer or attention seeker.

  • Otile

    Kayode Soyemi(fake esq.),
    You have once more demonstrated that you are a shameless fake lawyer. After reading the article you averred that the issue here is your ignorance of the law. You may be ignorant of the law but that is not the issue here.

    Just to remind you, the topic of this article is: “Senate right to reject Magu as EFCC chairman Court rules”. Do you get it now? A tout of your ilk cannot pass yourself as a lawyer and get away with your false claim all the time. Respect yourself ogbeni, knock off that fake esq.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)


  • Otile

    Buhari is fantastically corrupt and worse than most of you ineffectual buffoons.

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