The Nigerian Presidency has dismissed as “false and misleading” a Premium Times article published on Wednesday entitled “Magu: Osinbajo is on his own, Attorney General Malami says.”
The article alleged that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said Acting President Yemi Osinbajo's endorsement of Ibrahim Magu as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman was “not a collective decision” and that Mr. Osinbajo never consulted with the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to discuss the matter.
Premium Times further claimed that Mr. Malami “is believed to be opposed to Mr. Magu as EFCC Chairman.”
Responding to the article, the official Twitter account of the Nigerian Presidency tweeted, “This is false and misleading, Premium Times. The Attorney General did not at any time or in any way say this.”
2/ The Attorney-General's point is that decisions on Presidential nominations are matters for the Presidency & not the Fed Executive Council https://t.co/gqLVu7etFP— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) July 5, 2017
The Presidency clarified that Mr. Malami meant that decisions on presidential nominations, including the EFCC chairmanship, are “matters for the Presidency and the not the [Federal] Executive Council.”
The official Government of Nigeria Twitter account also chimed in, saying that presidential appointments and nominations are strictly presidential matters that do not concern the FEC.
.@PremiumTimesng ought to understand a basic fact: Appointments & Nominations are not a matter for FEC. They are purely presidential issues.— Govt of Nigeria (@AsoRock) July 5, 2017
Premium Times issued a response to the Presidency's tweets on Thursday with an audio recording of the AGF’s interview with reporters. In the recording, Mr. Malami does not appear to say that nominations are “matters for the Presidency and the not the [Federal] Executive Council,” in contradiction to what the Presidency’s Twitter account said.
It would be recalled that the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman has been a contentious issue in Nigerian politics.
President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Mr. Magu as the anti-corruption agency boss, but faced opposition from the Senate. Mr. Osinbajo, presiding over the country while the president receives medical treatment in London, also supported Mr. Magu’s chairmanship. The appointment does not require Senate confirmation, as pointed out by lawyer Femi Falana.