The no-love-lost between Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the National Assembly reared its head on Tuesday, with the Senate, returning from a three-week recess, accusing the Federal Government of choosing which laws to obey in the country.
This was one of the three prayers adopted by the Senate on the issue of its powers to confirm and, or reject nominees of the executive arm of government, in apparent reference to the continued stay in office of Ibrahim Magu, as executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), despite the rejection of his nomination by the upper legislative chamber.
The prayers included: “That the Senate should suspend all issues that relate to the confirmation of nominees; that the Acting President must respect the constitution and the laws enacted by the National Assembly as they relate to confirmation of nominees; and that the Acting President should respect the rejection of nominees by the Senate.”
It is important, the Senate added, that the country should build a society wherein all laws, not just some laws are obeyed, challenging Osinbajo, a professor of law and former Attorney General of Lagos State, Nigeria’s economic capital to work towards building “a nation of laws, not a nation of men.”
The admonition followed a letter by Osinbajo, seeking Senate confirmation of Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila as Director General of the National Lottery Commission.
Senate Sanni Ahmed, former governor of Zamfara State then cited order 14, and then reminding his colleagues that the Professor of Law once said the Senate had no power to confirm appointees and sought clarification of the issue.
Senator George Sekibo then urged the Senate to suspend the request until the issue of power of confirmation was sorted out, while Senator Kabiru Marafa urged his colleague to insist that the Acting President must withdraw the statement, a motion that was seconded by Senator Bassey Akpan.