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Magu: Saraki should not be Senate President – Ali Ndume

*Why President Buhari refused to lobby National Assembly

Ali Ndume, former senate majority leader, says if the senate could refuse to confirm Ibrahim Magu, as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) based on allegations levelled against him, Bukola Saraki who has a case in court should not be the senate president.

Citing a report of the Department of State Services (DSS), the upper legislative chamber rejected the nomination of Mr Magu for the third time last Wednesday. The DSS had said Magu was unfit to lead the commission because he had failed an integrity test.

But speaking on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programme on Channels Television, Senator Ali Ndume faulted the action of the senate.

His words: “We have all been accused, I have been accused of sponsoring Boko Haram, the senate president is still going to court,” Ndume said.

“Same as other members who have cases in court, yet they occupy seats in the senate. So, if you say because of the allegations he (Magu) should not be confirmed, then I should not be a sitting senator and Saraki should not be there as senate president.”

Senator Ali Ndume said knowing the kind of person President Muhammadu Buhari is, he would be surprised if the president mentioned Magu’s confirmation during his last meeting with leaders of the National Assembly.

Buhari met Saraki and Yakubu Dogara at the presidential villa in Abuja, on the eve of Magu’s rejection by the senate.

“The president I know is not the kind of person that would interfere in such matters. I would have been surprised if the president discussed the issue of confirmation when he met the leaders of the National Assembly recently, that would have led to the issue of lobbying for him to be confirmed,” he said.

“There is no crime against lobbying. In fact, we are supposed to lobby. I lobbied most of the senators but sometimes you keep on learning because this is kind of new. A government where you (APC) are in the majority and the president re-nominates a candidate and also in a situation where the issue at stake is an accusation; in the normal circumstance and by our constitution, accusation is not conviction.

“The issue now is not that the house is in his name, it’s a house called the safe house and that was prompted because after his acting appointment and the rigorous work he is doing, you can’t afford to have somebody like that living in Karu or a densely populated area.”

Ndume, who said he conducted personal investigation on Magu, absolved him of the allegations.

Commenting on the eloquence of Magu, Ndume said: “the bottom line is that we are trying to fight against corruption and if we ask: ‘is Magu doing his job?’ the answer is yes, undoubtedly. He is not an actor, he is a policeman doing investigation. He is not supposed to talk about what his job is in an articulate manner, it’s not important. What he is doing is not a TV show.”

There were complaints, particularly on social media, that Magu performed below expectation during the screening.

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