The Presidency will soon approach the Supreme Court to make a pronouncement on the lingering crisis between the executive and the National Assembly over the powers of the President to appoint some heads of government agencies without recourse to the Senate based on the provisions of Section 171 of the Constitution.
A Presidency source, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja, on Sunday, said the development was based on legal advice made available to the government on the different interpretations of the law on the matter.
The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had, in an interview in April, ruled out the possibility of President Muhammadu Buhari replacing the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, whose nomination was rejected by the Senate twice.
He had said he aligned himself with the argument of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, that Senate confirmation was not needed for the EFCC chairman based on the provisions of Section 171 of the Constitution.
Osinbajo’s statement drew the anger of Senators, who, penultimate Tuesday, resolved to step down all requests for confirmation into executive positions from the Presidency.
A source in the government said on Sunday that the legal advice, prepared as a working document in the Presidency regarding the differences in the constitutional interpretations on matters of certain federal appointments, recommended that a judicial pronouncement, preferably by the Supreme Court, would settle the matter.
He said although the Presidency believed that Section 171 was clear that certain appointments did not require Senate’s consent, it (the Presidency) was not behaving as if its interpretation of the law had become a policy.