Thursday , 25 February 2021

I will appeal, says plaintiff Ojaomo

 

Fraudsters using Magu’s name to extort money, says EFCC

A lawyer, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, yesterday said he would file an application next week against the judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja on the fate of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

He said he went to the high court to seek a declaration that the Senate could not use a security report by the Department of State Services (DSS) to disqualify Magu because such a report is not one of the requirements for confirming an EFCC chairman.

He said he asked the court to declare that the Senate has the right to confirm the EFCC chairman without going beyond the provisions of the EFCC Act.

He said he insisted before the court that the security report upon which the Senate based its rejection of Magu was extraneous to EFCC Act.

Ojaomo, who spoke with our correspondent, last night, asked Nigerians to read the judgment in a holistic manner, insisted that the Senate misinterpreted the judgment.

He said: “Although I have not received the Certified True Copy (CTC) , I will go to the Court of Appeal next week. Anybody can assume any interpretation of the judgment but it must be read in a holistic manner.

“The security report, which was used to disqualify Magu, was one of the grounds of my application before the Federal High Court. I submitted before the court that a security report was not one of the conditions in EFCC Act for the confirmation of Magu or any EFCC chairman.

“The EFCC Act specifically mentioned the requirements for the confirmation of the EFCC chairman and I said the Senate cannot go outside the Act by using a security report to disqualify Magu. I said the Senate cannot go beyond the provisions of the EFCC Act. The question was resolved in my favour.

“The Act does not say there should be security report in confirming any appointee as EFCC chairman. I asked the court to declare that the Senate cannot because of a mere allegation (a security report), which has not been proven to disqualify Magu.

“I also maintained and agreed that the Senate has the statutory powers to confirm any nominee for the office of EFCC chairman but the confirmation cannot go outside the EFCC Establishment Act. Which means, the President cannot go outside the Act to appoint a sergeant as EFCC chairman. And the court agreed with me on this.”

Responding to a question, Ojaomo added: “The only aspect I disagreed with the court is the question of locus. I am going to the Court of Appeal against the judgment on the issue of locus.

“As a Nigerian and a tax payer, I know that the EFCC is a public institution and I have a duty as a Nigerian to protect the institution. And the money recovered by the EFCC belongs to Nigerians. So, I have the locus to file the suit.”

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