The Senate has debunked claims by the Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume, that it received two security reports from the Department of State Services (DSS) on the confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ndume had, during a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, told State House Correspondents that the Senate received two conflicting reports from the DSS on the confirmation of Magu reports from the DSS.
According to him, the Senate rejected Magu’s confirmation as the substantive Executive Chairman of the EFCC based on the sole security report sent to its leadership by the DSS and that was the official stand of the upper chamber.
He said: “I am here based on a series of calls and text messages from you about what you said are conflicting messages. It has become critical for the Senate to clarify issues. The 8th Senate believes in its integrity. We uphold and promote the rule of law which is the basic thing about our democracy.
“I would like to make the following clarifications: I’m holding the votes and proceeding of Thursday’s plenary. We had two votes and proceeding because we had to go into a joint session to receive President Buhari.
“Our votes and proceedings are the official records of what transpired in the chamber. I briefed you on Thursday to the effect that the Senate is announcing that in view of security reports we were unable to confirm Magu. We then rejected and returned the nomination to Buhari for further action”.
Abdullahi continued: “Media reports emerging especially from interviews granted by Senator Ndume meant we have to clarify issues. For the records, I am the official spokesman of the Senate and I intend to discharge this with honour and integrity because the sanctity of the institution is crucial to the sustenance of democracy.
“To clarify them, I have only one point of reference, which is the votes and proceedings. The Senate also deliberated on the EFCC with regard to security report available but referred the other nominees for screening since nothing much was found about them.
“We are all guided by processes; if Buhari is going to resubmit the communication for re-nomination, he must come with the necessary reports, either negative or positive.
“This is the only official position of the Senate. What I say, I say on behalf of the Senate. Nigerians should be guided. There is no ambiguity in what we said.”
On the origin of the security report by the DSS, the Senate spokesman said:
“The report we are talking about was sent to the Acting Clerk of the Senate. If you talk about two reports which one is the second one? I heard a report was sent to the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, but I am not holding brief for him. He is a liaison officer and if there is any communication, the Senate President Bukola Saraki or the Clerk are in charge.
“It will be unfortunate for anyone to say that the Senate will be subjected to a report sent to the liaison office. This does not undermine his office; he is one of the highest ranking officers. Let us not bring Ita Enang into a crossfire”.
On the Senate’s resolution on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, the Senate spokesman said that the Upper House’s decision was based on Baba Kaka Garbai (Borno Central) and Ali Ndume’s (Borno South) motion on the massive corruption that greeted the Federal Government’s gesture to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.
“Even with respect to SGF, you as journalists can do your proper investigations. The genesis was the motion raised by Kaka and Ndume and the Senate decided to look at the abuses and the SGF was found to be part of it,” he said.
Abdullahi refuted insinuations by some online media that the Senate is divided on the matter.