He believes that the request for a second letter should not have been made because the President had already cleared him of any allegations made against him by the DSS’ first report.
“By asking for a second report, then you should have allowed the presidency to be aware of this before his presence before the Senate, because this is not a slap in the face of Magu, it is a slap in the face of the President, this is a slap on all Nigerians.
“When your president in his position has nominated somebody and you found him wanting and he claimed that “I have looked into it”, that is enough for you not to be asking for another letter.”
Although, there are arguments that Mr Magu’s continuation in acting capacity as the EFCC Chairman does not necessarily diminish his ability to probe issues of corruption, Mr Clarke explained that there is a difference between acting and being a confirmed chairman.
“Under the law, acting is different from being a confirmed chairman. the EFCC Act says there shall be a Chairman of the EFCC who shall be nominated for that appointment as chairman by the President; however, it must be confirmed by the Senate.
“Now the problem is, before you can nominate to the Senate, you must have done your home work. In the sense that, for every appointee, the President asks the DSS to write a report on them.
“Why should in the case of Magu, the DSS write straight to the Senate instead of writing to the President, something is wrong somewhere. They did it the first time, it backfired on them, they have done it the second time. I think what we should ask ourselves is who authorized the DSS to write that second report,” he questioned.
On the other hand, another legal practitioner, Isaac Anumudu, says the issue of Magu’s rejection, has been unduly hyped by some persons.
“There is no complication whatsoever – It is just that certain gladiators, for certain reasons not yet known to Nigerians, are unduly hyping this issue and making a very simple, constitutional issue to look as if it is complicated”.
He therefore expressed worry over the fact that there could be something else that meets the eye on the issue which according to him, is accentuating it beyond the way it is meant to be.
Quoting Section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act, Mr Anumudu, explained that the nomination and subsequent confirmation of the EFCC Chairman is not a duty of the President alone as it is subject to the confirmation of the Senate.
“We are in a democracy and the intendment of section 2(3) is to take away arbitrary powers from the executive because the issue of EFCC chairmanship is a very tough position and seeing the damage corruption has done to our society, the intention was to put someone there who would be above board, who would be transparent.”
Mr Anumudu however stated that beyond the Senate’s explanation that Magu’s rejection was not based on the DSS report alone, it was glaring to Nigerians that he seemed incompetent for the job.
“Some of us watched the screening and we saw that Magu was rejected not on the report alone but based on his inability to show competence for the job.
“He was asked critical questions based on his job which he could not answer,” he stressed.
Mr Magu has been in acting capacity as EFCC chairman since November, 2015.
This occasion marked the second time in three months that he is being rejected by the lawmakers.