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Itse Sagay PACAC chairman slams Senate for threatening Presidency

Sagay warned the Senate to be prepared for the consequences of bringing down the government with their rebellious actions.

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Prof. Itse Sagay play

Prof. Itse Sagay

(Today)

The chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, has rebuked the Nigerian Senate for indefinitely suspending confirmation of any federal appointments sent by the presidency.

The Senate called for this suspension after Acting President Yemi Osinbajo sent the Assembly a request to confirm the nomination of Lanre Gbajabiamila as Chairman of the National Lottery Commission.

Lawmakers reacted to the request, read by Senate President Bukola Saraki at plenary on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, by protesting that all confirmation requests from the executive arm be suspended until the powers of the legislative arm are recognised.

ALSO READ: Senate suspends confirmation of nominees indefinitely

Sagay warned the Senate to be prepared for the consequences of bringing down the government with their rebellious actions.

According to him, "This is a Senate that does not realise that it is part of the legislature and not an executive body.

"And they want to do both the legislative and executive work together, which will totally eliminate the principle of separation of powers.

"That’s the sort of people they are. They're legislators, but they’re hungry to be the executive body.

"If they threaten to bring government to a halt, they will bear the responsibility and consequences that will arise. Let them be ready to take the consequences of their actions.

"In fact, it may be good for this country for them to expose themselves like that and let the country know the people who constitute a problem to good governance in Nigeria."

The Senate has been at odds with the presidency over appointments after it rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but the presidency still kept him on as acting chairman.

ALSO READ: How Senate 'tried to impeach Osinbajo'

Lawmakers were furious with the presidency's refusal to let Magu go, and directed Osinbajo to relieve him of his duties.

"How can they say he should remove somebody? That is an executive power.

"The constitution empowers the president to appoint the chairman of EFCC and other such agencies directly.

"So, if they’re uncomfortable with the fight against corruption and feel threatened by a man who is upright, committed and will not be distracted from doing his job, if they’re not comfortable with that, it’s unfortunate. But nobody is going to listen to them as far as that is concerned.

"If they want to indulge in the misadventure and danger of bringing government to a halt, then on their head will be the consequences."

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