The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has spoken on the two major issues rocking the Senate at present.
The two issues are the rejection of Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission based on a report of the Department of State Services, and the insistence of the Senate that the Director General of the Nigeria Customs Service must appear before it in his Customs uniform to explain the now suspended policy on payment of duty on old vehicles.
Saraki, said to have spoken in an interview with TVC News in Morocco, where he attended an African summit on climate change and food security, was reacting to a claim by a former Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, that it was hypocritical of the Senate to allow Saraki to continue in office because he was in court to defend corruption allegations.
Ndume argued that the Senate should not have rejected Magu based on unproven allegations.
But Saraki told TVC: “You are jumping into conclusion that he (Magu) was rejected because of the accusation.
“I don’t think there was anywhere we said he was rejected based on accusations.
“We have nominees that come all the time with different issues.
“Two weeks ago, we screened the Chief Justice of Nigeria and he scaled through.
“Now the EFCC chairman came and he did not pass the screening.
“Someone else will come and may pass.
“This is our constitutional role and I don’t think we should personalise or politicise this.”
On Ali, Saraki said the executive arm of government must learn to consult with the legislature more often as this, according to him, is the best way to get things done.
He said: “I know that as the parliament, which represents the people, some of these far-reaching decisions have to be made and there is a need for a wider consultation and that is what democracy is about.
“If you don’t want democracy, you can sit in your office and announce anything.
“Nobody is saying we have a monopoly of what is right but there must be consultation.
“We get feelers from the people and at a time that the economy is biting, we have to be very sensitive to some of the issues we face.
“So, all we are saying is consult more.”