Reports say that the Senate will allow the embattled acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, defend the budget of the agency irrespective of outstanding issues concerning his confirmation.
Ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs) have since begun the defence of the 2017 budget at the National Assembly before various Standing Committees.
Both chambers of the National Assembly had on Thursday, January 26, 2017, suspended plenary sittings for the next three weeks in order for committees to scrutinise the 2017 Appropriation Bill during which concerned MDAs will appear before them to defend their budget figures.
The inclination of the Senate despite earlier assertions to the contrary was informed by the fact that the Senate was yet to take a decision on the re-submission of his name for confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari. Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti- Corruption and Financial Crimes,
Senator Chukwuka Utazi told newsmen that the committee would maintain the status quo by inviting Magu to defend the 2017 budget estimate of the commission on the ground that he remains the acting chairman of the commission. Magu “We are going to maintain the status quo, we are going to invite everyone, we are going to invite the acting Chairman of EFCC, Magu; he is still the acting Chairman of EFCC. Until he is removed, we will invite him for the budget defence and at the moment, he has not been removed.”
“A letter was written to the Senate by President Buhari on Magu, a decision has not been taken on him, it was not referred to any committee or my committee for further actions, the letter was not even discussed, no decision was taken on it, it is not administrative, there must be resolution or reference to any committee in the Senate before actions are carried out. We will invite him for budget defence.”
Doubts over the possibility of Magu appearing to defend the budget proposals of the commission arose after some senators and stakeholders raised issues with the fact that the president stuck to Magu as acting chairman of the commission even after the Senate stood down his nomination on the basis of security report submitted by the Department of State Services, DSS.