SAN FRANCISCO, April 05, (THEWILL) – The All Progressives Congress, APC, has warned the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, to stop making statements that could be interpreted as an attack on the National Assembly, advising him to key into the “temper” of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senate had suspended the confirmation of 27 persons nominated by President Buhari as Resident Electoral Commissioners in protest against the refusal of the President to sack Ibrahim Magu as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite his repeated rejection by senators.
Sagay was reported by Punch to have responded to this development by saying: “That action is childish and irresponsible. Do they think Buhari is a man that can easily be threatened? My God! How can people of such character occupy the highest legislative office in the country? Nigeria is finished.
“It is a great mistake and they will regret it.”
The Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Na’Allah, read Sagay’s comment to his colleagues who subsequently resolved to summon the senior lawyer to appear before the committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions to explain his statement.
But the PACAC Chairman rejected the invitation, saying the Senate lacked the power to summon him.
Reacting in a statement on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, the ruling APC said as a professor of law, Sagay ought to appreciate the need not to denigrate the institutions of democracy. It pointed out that federal lawmakers are critical to the running of government and the nurturing of democracy.
The statement reads, “In furtherance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) efforts to resolve the rift between the executive and the national assembly, the APC urges all government appointees to stop making statements that may further worsen the relationship between the two arms of government and derail the party’s effort to make peace.
“Specifically, the party urges Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) to exercise restraint and desist from making utterances that may be misconstrued as an attack on the institution of the national assembly.
“The party acknowledges the fatherly role being played by the President, H.E Muhammadu Buhari to resolve outstanding issues with the national assembly, by setting up a high-level committee led by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“We believe the comments attributed to Prof. Sagay are uncalled for, regrettable and could further complicate the relationship between these vital arms of government.
“Our expectation would be that as a Law Professor of repute, Prof. Sagay would appreciate the need to not denigrate the institutions of democracy, be it the executive, legislature or judiciary.
“Moreover, as an appointee of Mr. President, we should expect the learned professor to key into his principal’s temper and help him to make friends that would make his job easier and not make enemies of people who, by virtue of the position they occupy under our law, are critical to the running of government and the nurturing of our democracy.”
While disagreeing with Sagay’s position on the summons by the Senate, Abdullahi pointed out that as an appointee of Buhari, the upper legislative chamber reserves the power to invite Sagay if it deems it fit.
He continued, “The party specifically objects to the professor’s call on the senate to withdraw invitation extended to him. As someone appointed by our government, we find this kind of posturing unacceptable and potentially injurious to the peace efforts by the party.
“The party wishes to reiterate its earlier position admonishing all elected or appointed officials of our government to desist from utterances that may endanger efforts to build harmonious relationship between the two arms of government. Prof. Sagay should not operate outside this admonition.
“The party expresses happiness with the meeting it had with the senate caucus on Tuesday and is confident that all the issues raised will be addressed. It also urges the national assembly to further intensify its efforts to ensure timely passage of the 2017 national budget.”
SOURCE: The Nigerian Voice (politics)