Nigerians tackle Saraki, Senate over rejection of presidential nominations

Senate President Bukola Saraki (L) and Ag President Yemi Osinbajo
Senate President Bukola Saraki (L) and Ag President Yemi Osinbajo

The Senate has come under heavy criticism on social media after it decided to suspend all requests for confirmations sent to it by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

The Senate had on Tuesday expressed displeasure over what it termed the refusal of the presidency to carry out some resolutions passed by it on presidential nominations, especially the continuous stay of Ibrahim Magu as EFCC chairman despite being rejected twice by the Senate. The legislative body said it would retaliate by not confirming further nominations sent to it by the acting president.

The Senate President had gone ahead to post the resolutions of the Senate on his Facebook page after the session.

According to the post, Mr Saraki said the decision was borne out of the parliament’s resolve to ensure that there was rule of law in the country.

“It is important that we build a society wherein all laws, not just some laws are obeyed. We must build a nation of laws, not a nation of men. Hence, it is not for us to choose which laws to obey, and which laws not to obey,’’ he said.

However, many Nigerians who commented on this faulted the Senate’s position with some accusing the Senate President of planning to subtly take over power from the acting president.

An irate respondent, Awwal Umar, said the Senate ‘has been a joke’

“Only people of integrity can say this is not the real Senate under your fraudulent Screenshot_2017-07-05-10-40-32leadership. The biggest joke in this country is Saraki. We are watching and are very angry. Your prayer is as useless as the Senate you are leading,” he posted.

Another respondent, Nasiru Shehu, said the present parliament was the worst in history.

“It is very unfortunate that we probably have the worst parliament in the world with these eighth Senate and the House of Representatives. It is a big source of concern for a nation like Nigeria dealing with legislators driven only by their personal interest. Just recently it was the lower chamber working on a bill to grant amnesty to the public looters and now the senate with another useless amendment. However, this is the result of sending mostly former governors to the senate.”

Another Facebook user, Michael Ojua, said the Senate had apparently forgotten the law that set it up.

“If the senate can be this lawless then where lies our hope? Can’t you approach Supreme Court for adjudication? Why are you all shameless and full of selfishness? Don’t try our might, if not revolution is in the offing and you and your cohorts will be the first victims.”

Abogbenda Solomon while reacting to the development said the legislators were not just pleased that Mr Osinbajo was in control of the nation’s affairs.

“You guys have started seeing it. These cabals will not allow Osinbajo to work. It’s PMB that suits them. How can the Senate President who is a medical doctor know the Constitution of Nigeria more than a professor of law and SAN? In fact, there is no senator or house of representative member that knows the law more than Prof. Osinbajo. Take it or leave it.”

Others like Daniel Onunekwu, however, took a middle position.

“There has to be a balance in our polity…. Executive arm should understand the limit of their authority…. The legislature is there not just to make the laws but also to check excesses from the executive chamber… My candid opinion.”

For Anosike Ike, the Senate was right in its position. “Let’s be reasonable for once. What is the rationale in the executive sending these people to the Senate? Is it (Senate) a rubber stamp? If is for screening and confirmation, it then means, if Mr. Magu fails the test, he shouldn’t be confirmed.”

Meanwhile the Senate has vowed to stick to its position until the presidency addresses its concern.

The presidency is yet to officially react to this development.


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  • Rote

    Senate resolution is not a law, no bill passed by the law makers become a law until same is accented to by the President / the executive, so the idea of trying to install the rule of law is out of it. If Saraki is hoping to get to the Presidency same crooked way he gets to the Senate leadership then he should be prepared for the wrath of Nigerians who are just tolerating so far been tolerating his shenanigan! .

  • Spoken word

    these NASS members are worse than Evans.They have kidnapped all Nigerians.This rubbish must not continue.

  • JOHN

    The law of the land must be obeyed by the executive as well. Magu failed confirmation and therefore legally and morally cannot function as efcc chair. The law setting up efcc stipulated so. For the Ag President to say that Magu does not need confirmation is a lie just to toe the uninformed position of Buhari. Some laws stipulated that the head of such agencies must be confirmed by the senate, and since the President assented to such Acts to become law, the presidency cannot now disobey such law with impunity. If the executive have any reservation, they should go to court to seek proper interpretation. On this issue, the senate is very correct and acted rightly on behalf of the rule of law. I have read some comments that is born out of gross ignorance of the subject matter or out of mischief. Please understand the laws or issues before you comment so that you don’t hurt yourself.

    • whereto

      I marvel at some of the logic in our public space. Does what you wrote above justify shutting down govt? This is shear blackmail worthy of Evans.The simple and sensible course of action should be for the Senate to approach the Supreme Court for inter

      • JOHN

        The government is not shut down. The legislature is just acting as checks and balance on the executive. In any case, it is the executive that should go to court and not the senate. The senate is an institution that deserves to be respected and regarded in this country.

        • Ajayi Ifayemi

          Please, blackmail is not check and balance. They took a stand, the executive took their own stand, they should go to the judiciary for a resolution not begin to act like school boys or even criminals and start blackmailing the government. My opinion is that the presidency should call their bluff and then see where our animosity goes.

          • IG

            For your mind,Does these guys looks responsible to you????????

          • Ajayi Ifayemi

            Of course they don’t, that is why I call them blackmailers.

  • isioku

    In NIgeria today, it is the rule of might and not reason. I always find it absurd that the Senate is blamed for everything even when the blame should lie elsewhere. The EFCC Act and other such Acts require that the head of those institutions be confirmed by the Senate upon nomination by the President. However anybody feels about it, that is the law of the land and must be obeyed in full until nullified by court. All other administrations had complied with the law on confirmation except this “all knowing” administration. Besides they could have done this without any rancour by instructing the Attorney General to approach the Supreme Court on the power of the Senate to confirm or reject nominees. Why haven’t the Executive done this? Why are they heating up the polity unnecessarily? Why the bravado? Just to paint the Senate in bad light? In Osibanjo’s law firm; Simmons Coopers, when you are given a job, you are placed on 6 months probation to be CONFIRMED after satisfactory performance. Is he now saying that after the 6 months and the appointment is not confirmed by Management such employee would continue to be on the job and be drawing salaries? I am sure that cannot happen! so why is it happening here and why are people blaming the Senate. Government is not a one man or one Arm show. The Executive must learn how to engage the Senate and stop these bickering. Obama and Trump learned the hard way that they needed Congress to push through their agendas.

    • dami

      And the next thing is to take matters into their own hands….why not approach the courts for clarification….continue justifying rascality.

      • isioku

        The onus to approach the courts lies on the person or institution who wants a shift from the status quo. That institution in this case is the Presidency or Executive. Besides, the Attorney General is there. What is the job of an Attorney General? His remit also involves apprehending knotty consitutional disputes and immediately escalate same to the Supreme Court where the Court has original jurisdiction where the parties stick to their stands. The Senate is blameless in this situation. The Executive should be held fully responsible for trying to subvert the law without any legal justification whatsoever. As it is, the Executive is taking the laws into its own hands and not the Senate. The Senate has its faults but not in this case. It has to use the power it has to assert its authority. The Executive does that by withholding appropriation and we are all cool with it. So why the hullabaloo about the Senate?

        • dami

          Be putting the cart before the horse…the executive has made their position known and have moved on…if the senate don’t like it they should seek interpretation instead of the thuggery and threats they are doing…or has work stopped according to the executive? Magu is reporting for work daily…if the senate don’t like it let them go to court and seek interpretation or otherwise shut up and move on.

          • isioku

            It’s interesting to see where you placed the cart and the horse. The Presidency used bravodo to ask Magu to stay put after rejection instead of seeking interpretation. The Senate gave them sufficient time to rethink their move which they stuck to. The Senate now decides to use its coercive powers to compel compliance with the law. Where is the cart and where is the horse? The law is that the Senate confirms certain appointments. This administration came in and complied with the law until EFCC appointment. Magu was rejected and they stuck to him. They now want to push the narrative that he doesnt need confirmation. How do you do that? By bravodo or judicial clarification? So where is the cart and where is the horse? If all Nigerians begin to interpret the law as they understand it in their closets, do you know what will happen? ANARCHY! Why has the Executive chosen anargy over peaceful resolution by the courts? I ask again, does the Attorney General know his job?

          • dami

            Coercive powers indeed…magu is at work if you don’t like it go to court
            There’s no law that states that after rejection he cannot act in an acting capacity or that he should go home – get your facts right….he can even be nominated a million times if possible…
            Thieves trying to escape the law….

  • Dr

    The NASS is taking Nigeria for granted, the day WE WILL STORM the NASS Complex, the so called legislators will have no way to escape

  • bigbang

    What a load of rubbish. Nigeria is currently in a recession. I hope they do realize that. These Senators are out of touch or they don’t just don’t care about public opinion. This is not the time to shut down the government. Put aside your ego and work with the executive to resolve our problems. If they don’t do that, Dino Melaye recall will be the beginning. Even the recall was not successful. 2019 elections is just 2 years away. We will vote you all out in 2019. You can’t attach yourselves to Buhari like leeches to save your political futures this time.

  • GG

    This is the worst Senate since 1979. They are a shame to what is known as democracy.

    Shameless people!

  • Fatai Fehintola

    I agree with Michael Ojua’s submission, “senate has forgotten the constitution”, turning itself to “the law”, elementary knowledge of Government as a subject teaches that whenever there’s any dispute between (other) arms of government, the judiciary INTERPRETS the law. Our NASS has chosen to not only execute programs of government and interprets law, but more importantly and rather unfortunate, has relegated its primary role of law-making to the background, hope somebody will advise these legislators accordingly, God help the country!

  • realist

    The Senate decided to abandoned their Constitutional duty because Magu is not sacked. Can two wrongs make a right. Are they not committing the same offence they were accusing the executive? What is the objective, is it because of the rule of law or their personal interests. The same Senate President that was going to court still retain his position is talking about rule of law?

  • IG

    Lets the president dissolve the paliament asap.

  • IG

    IG a few seconds ago

    Lets the president dissolve the paliament asap.

  • Rick Eson

    They the senate are there just for their own personal interest. Interest of the Nation does not exist. Our Nation survival and progress hinged on successful limited or total elimination of corruption. Magu has been very successful and well focus in these direction hence he Magu is a big threat to
    The corrupt elements in senate.
    The big question is ” Is Nigeria getting value for the money we spend on the current breed of senate?

  • 0tile

    Where is Kay Soyemi (fake esq.)? Let him come out from the latrine and add his uninformed opinion. He is still hiding in the latrine because the topic is not about great Biafra. Yoro lawyer my foot.