Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (right); Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari; Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita; and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA
Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has distanced the Federal Executive Council (FEC), from Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s recent comments wherein he challenged the powers of the Senate to approve federal appointments.
Addressing State House Correspondents after the Council meeting presided over by Acting President Osinbajo yesterday, Malami said the subject bothering on the approving power of the Senate for appointments made by the executive as presented by Osinbajo did not at any time come up for the deliberation of the council.
Malami who was joined by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and his counterpart minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, at the briefing said:
“The fundamental consideration about the alleged statement is the fact that at no point ever did the FEC sit down to arrive at the decision in one way or the other as far as the issue of nomination or otherwise is concerned.’’
Lai Mohammed noted that the matter which came up at yesterday’s Council deliberation was on finding amicable resolution to any crisis that the issue may have generated.
He explained that the executive has in place a mechanism for handling such issues when they arise.
“The fact of the matter is that we have a very excellent mechanism for resolving whatever issues is between us and the National Assembly. ”
He did not disclose the steps being taken to resolve the disagreement between the two arms of government.
Also, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the Acting President’s remarks was misconstrued but disclosed that steps were already being taken to resolve the matter.
He said the remark credited to Osinbajo about screening of nominees for appointments did not originate from the Acting President.
According to the media aide, in compliance with the provisions of the law, the executive arm has been sending the names of its nominees to the National Assembly for screening and it will continue to do so.
The Minister of Justice said FEC approved a new anti corruption strategy that would ensure enforcement and sanctioning of persons found guilty of corruption in the country.
He said the strategy is intended to strengthen the enforcement and sanctions.
Meanwhile, council also yesterday approved contracts worth N900 million for infrastructural developments in some districts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Breakdown of the approval according to the FCT minister include N242 million for engineering infrastructure design for ring roads, N184 million Kabo district housing engineering design contract, and N241 million sewage line contract as well as N233 for water treatment and connecting pipelines engineering design contract in line with the Abuja Water Master Plan.