Senate on Wednesday dragged Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay, before its committee on Ethics and Privileges over newspaper comment.
The resolution of the Senate was sequel to a point of Order by the Deputy Senate leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah who directed the attention of the Senate to the publication of Punch and titled, ” Sagay, Others Kick as Senate Puts off RECS confirmation over Magu.
The deputy leader, who came through point of order, said the Professor of Law described Senators as people of questionable character.
BATTLE OF WITS
The Senate resolved that Professor Sagay should appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, led by Senator Samuel Anyanwu, PDP, Imo East to clear himself of the allegation and explain why he must insult the Senate as an Institution.
The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the Senate.
The statements credited to Professor Sagay came barely twenty four hours after the Senate suspended for two weeks, the screening of 27 persons President Muhammadu Buhari nominated for the office of Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECS.
Reading the paper at plenary, Senator Na’ Allah said, “But the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), described the Senate’s action, calling on Buhari to sack Magu in two weeks, as childish and irresponsible.”
“Sagay told one of our correspondents in a telephone interview that the Senate was filled with people of questionable character, who put their personal interest ahead of that of the nation.”
It would be recalled that the Senate had on Tuesday poised for a battle with the Presidency following the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu who had twice been rejected.
The Senate had wondered why Magu who was not confirmed was still at the helms of affairs at the EFCC as this however prompted the protest and the looming crisis between the executive and the legislature.
The Senate was also not happy with the presidency over comments by the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay who was alleged to have described the exercise of the Senate in screening nominees of the Executive as mere confirmation.
As part of moves to fight back, the Senate yesterday suspended for two weeks, confirmation hearings of the 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners, REC of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari and sent to the Senate for screening and subsequent confirmation.
According to the Senators, the two weeks suspension became imperative against the backdrop that within that period, senate President Bukola Saraki would meet with the President and discuss the issues relating to Ibrahim Magu’s continued acting capacity as EFCC boss which the Senate considered as a complete affront on the institution and the lawmakers.