Abuja-based lawyer,
Mrs. Esther Uzoma
has urged all arms of
government to adhere to
their roles and respect their
boundaries in discharging
their responsibilities as
provided in the constitution,
cautioning that the executive
should not assume the
position of “the almighty,”
especially in the case of
Ibrahim Magu whom the
Senate has twice rejected
to man the Economic
and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC, but has
has still been retained by the
executive.
She made the call at the
backdrop of latest face-off
between the executive and
legislature over Magu’s
continuation as acting
chairman of the anti-graft
agency.
Uzoma, who is the national
coordinator of Proactive
Gender Initiatives, a nongovernmental
organisation,
told newsmen in Abuja that
the constitution was supreme
and should be relied upon all
the time.
The Senate had on
July 4 moved against the
presidency over the retention
of Magu as acting chairman
of the EFCC, in spite of the
rejection of his nomination
two times during screening.
Magu’s issue, in addition
to a statement allegedly
made by Acting President
Yemi Osinbajo on “no-go
areas” for the legislature,
led to Senate’s suspension
of all confirmation requests
from the executive until the
matters were addressed.
Uzoma said the three
arms of government were
independent and had
their functions and limits
clearly specified in the 1999
Constitution (as amended).
According to her, in
critical appointments, it is
the duty of the executive to
recommend or nominate
while the legislature has the
responsibility to screen the
nominations for approval.
“Now the legislature
screened Magu, the
recommended person by
the executive and rejected
him twice based on security
reports forwarded by the
executive. “So, in this case,
there are reports from the
executive arm indicting the
person they recommended
themselves; so if you ask me,
it is actually a problem of the
executive quarrelling with
itself.
“They are the ones who
brought this person for
screening and they are also
the ones who filed the report
on Magu, indicting him,
and made the legislature
to find him unworthy for
the job. “I would therefore
submit that in the spirit of
our constitution having
due regards to balance of
power, that the views of
the legislature should be
respected,” she posited.
Uzoma cautioned that the
executive should not assume
the position of “the almighty,
the all-powerful and the
omniscience” by forcing its
decision on everyone.
She said the executive
should play its part while
the legislature did its own,
“and when issues come to
question, the judiciary will
also do its part.”
According to her, it will
augur well with Nigeria’s
democracy if they all
respected the boundaries
of the various arms of
government as provided by
the Constitution.


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