The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that the executive branch has a ”robust mechanism” to resolve any differences between it and the legislative arm of government.
Mr. Mohammed stated this on Wednesday while addressing State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, which held inside the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Nigerian Senate had on Tuesday passed a resolution to stop all confirmation hearings for nominees forwarded by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo until contentious issues surrounding their powers to confirm appointees are resolved.
When asked whether the Senate resolution was discussed at Wednesday’s FEC meeting, Mr. Mohammed said, “It came up” adding, “We have an excellent strategy in dealing with issues with the national assembly.”
The Information Minister also said the Nigerian government is not made up of the executive arm alone, but includes the legislature and judiciary.
“Whatever may be the misunderstanding or problem between the National Assembly and Executive, we have an excellent mechanism of dealing with it,” he said.
The Senate had in April suspended the confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, after expressing concerns with the continued stay of Ibrahim Magu as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The lawmakers had twice rejected Mr. Magu’s nomination as EFCC chairman, officially basing their decisions on a report compiled by the State Security Service, SSS, accusing Mr. Magu of impropriety; although many Nigerians believe the non-confirmation was because many of the senators were being investigated or prosecuted by the EFCC.
Shortly after the Senate passed the resolution, the presidency said it would not succumb to the Senate and removed Mr. Magu as chairman of the anti-graft EFCC.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Osinbajo said Mr. Magu enjoys his confidence, and that of the president.
“I’m fully in support of Magu as the EFCC Chairman just as the president is…” Mr Osinbajo said.
Speaking on the Senate rejection, Mr. Osinbajo said “it is up to the Senate to make their judgement. If our candidate is rejected, …, we can represent our candidate.”