*L-R: Buhari, Banire SAN and Dr. Edward
Femi Falana SAN activist-lawyer and human right fighter has come down heavy on the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria led by Ahmed Lawan for confirming the nomination of a new Board Chairman of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). He said the Senate is legally prohibited from confirming the appointment of a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Edward Adamu, as Chairman of AMCON board.
The senior advocate said this was because the five-year tenure of the current occupant of the office, Muiz Banire SAN, has not expired by effluxion of time. Falana argued that if the Senate confirms the appointment of Adamu, “all actions and decisions of the AMCON board under his chairmanship are liable to be set aside on account of the illegality of his appointment”.
According to him, “Even though Dr. Banire has said that he is not bothered by his purported removal from office, the issues involved transcend his person. Since AMCON is battling with the recovery of not less than N5.4 trillion from members of the comprador bourgeoisie, the Senate cannot afford to ratify illegal appointments of the members of the board of AMCON.”
Falana gave the warning yesterday in Lagos in a statement, titled: “Why Senate Cannot Confirm Mr. Edward Adamu as AMCON Chairman.” He said: “Dr. Banire SAN, the current Chairman of the board of the AMCON, was appointed in July 2018. His nomination was made by President Muhammadu Buhari and confirmed by the 8th National Assembly led by Dr. Bukola Saraki.
“The said appointment was made pursuant to Section 10(3) of the Act to the effect that ‘A member of the board appointed pursuant to this section (a) shall hold office for a term of five years…’ “Since the appointment has not expired, the President has not removed Dr. Banire from office under the relevant provisions of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010.”
“However, by a letter, dated December 10, 2019, President Buhari requested the Senate to confirm the nomination of Mr. Adamu, a Deputy Governor of the CBN, as the new Chairman of AMCON. The nomination is said to have been made pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amendment No. 2) Act, 2019, which has amended Section 10 of the principal Act by providing for ‘a part-time Chairman who shall be a Deputy Governor in the CBN to be nominated by the CBN’ to head AMCON. “In other words, since the amendment cannot operate retrospectively, the appointment of Mr. Adamu cannot take effect until Dr. Banire has served his full term, unless he decides to resign before the expiration of his fiv-year tenure.”