The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday stated that the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo goofed on his claims that the Senate has no powers to confirm certain nominees appointed by the Federal Government.
Malami, while speaking with State House correspondents on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council, meeting, said the claim of the Acting President was not the stand of the Federal Executive Council.
Malami also said that the issue of nominee confirmation by the Senate had never been an issue for FEC and as such, does not even warrant any clarification from FEC.
According to him, “The fundamental consideration about the alleged statement (by Osinnajo) 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.
“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 FEC.”
Recall, that upon resuming from the long break, the Senate, had on Wednesday, immediately, went into a standoff with the presidency, vowing to stand down all requests for confirmation into executive positions in the Federal Government following the outburst and challenge from the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to the Senate’s capacity to confirm certain nominees of the executive into federal bodies.
In their resolution, the Senate asked the Acting President to apologise for his challenge to the Senate’s power to confirm persons into certain executive bodies.
Also, the Senate frowned at the Federal Executive’s continued refusal to fire Ibrahim Magu who has continued to steer affairs of the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, despite being rejected twice by the Senate.
Also the Acting President’s earlier statement in April, after Magu was rejected by the Senate, that, “It is up to the Senate to make their judgment, and it is up to us to say what we want to do. If our candidate is rejected, we can re-present him.
No law says we can’t re-present him. And again, there is the other argument, whether or not we need to present him for confirmation and that’s a compelling argument from Femi Falana.”
A a letter from Osinbajo to the Senate, on Tuesday, requested it to confirm Lanre Gbajabiamila as the substantive Director-General of the National Lottery Commission (NLC). Osinbajo’s letter which was dated June 12, 2017, was entitled, “Request for confirmation of the appointment of Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila as Director- General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission.”
However, upon their resumption, the Senate asked the Acting President to apologise for his earlier statement, vowing that it would stand down all requests for confirmation into executive positions in the Federal Government.