By Hassan Adebayo
The rejection of Ibrahim Magu’s nomination as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission marked the end of months of delay by the Senate to act on President Muhammadu Buhari’s request.
The Presidency requested the Senate to confirm Magu’s nomination in July through a letter signed by Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo in his capacity as the acting president when Buhari was away on a medical trip.
However, since the letter was read by Senate President Bukola Saraki on July 14, the Senate showed no readiness to act on it until last week.
After failing to hold the confirmation hearing last week, the Senate said it would screen Magu today, Thursday.
But indications that Magu would face difficulties emerged Thursday morning during a meeting of the Senate leadership ahead of the plenary.
There was disagreement over the mode of the screening. While some Senators were for an open screening of Magu at plenary, some were opposed to it, saying the EFCC nominees should rather be referred to the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption for screening.
Later, Dino Melaye and Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, exchanged insults openly.
Due to the disagreement, the Senate was little over an hour late to commence sitting. Then, the Senate dissolved into an executive session which lasted over one hour.
During the executive session, Magu was invited into the chamber and stayed for about 15 or 20 minutes.
But the Senators had already made up their minds, it seems.
The Senate relied on a damning security report reportedly obtained from the State Security Service.
Magu declined to answer questions posed by journalists as he left the National Assembly.
He had come with associates and EFCC officials who all left disappointed.