Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has clarified his comments about Senate confirmation powers.
Saraki had spoken on Monday at the ongoing Orientation Programme for incoming members.
Speaking through Olu Onemola, his Special Assistant on New Media, Saraki said he never made negative statement about Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Onemola, in a statement, said “During the Orientation Programme for Members-elect of the 9th National Assembly, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, in the first lecture of the day which was about the “Overview of the National Assembly Structure, Functions and Inter-Parliamentary Relations”, presented by Mr. M.A. Sani Omolori, the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA), the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, served as the Chairman of the session.
“In the course of his presentation, the CNA mentioned that one of the functions of the Senate is the confirmation of nominees from the Executive branch.
“During the question and answer session which followed, there were about three questions on confirmations.
“One member asked that if the Senate refuses to confirm a nominee from the Executive, what are the options?
“Another member specifically asked about the issue of Magu and asked why the Senate did not go to court after it did not confirm Magu, but Magu continued serving in an Acting capacity at the EFCC.
“When responding to the questions, the Clerk of the National Assembly stated that he was not in a position to answer ‘political questions’ and referred the response to the Chairman of the occasion, the Senate President.
“In his response, the Senate President stated that according to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is clearly the role of the Senate to confirm nominees of the Executive.
“While responding to the question of the member who asked about the options, the Senate President stated that the options are that the President can lobby the legislature or present someone else as a nominee.
“The Senate President also responded to the question about why the Senate did not go to court by clarifying that there are currently over 12 cases in the Nigerian courts about the role of the Senate in the confirmations process.”
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