President Bola Tinubu’s abrupt dismissal of Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has sparked legal concerns.
Tinubu’s announcement on Monday cited the need to restructure and fortify key government agencies to safeguard Nigerian consumers’ rights.
However, a review by ThisDay has uncovered potential legal irregularities in the President’s unilateral action to remove Irukera.
According to the Federal Protection and Competition Act of 2018, which established the FCCPC, the President’s authority to remove the agency head is conditional upon Senate approval.
The Act delineates specific criteria for removal, including incompetence, breach of appointment conditions, absenteeism without consent, serious misconduct, or violation of conflict of interest regulations.
The Act explicitly states that the President’s exercise of removal powers necessitates Senate endorsement.
Notably, there is no apparent evidence that Tinubu sought Senate approval before dismissing Irukera.
This discrepancy raises legal uncertainties regarding the dismissal’s conformity to the stipulated procedural framework.
It is unclear if the Nigerian Senate will call the president’s attention on the apparent omission.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Bayo Onanuga recently stated that Irukera was not sacked but dismissed.
Some Nigerians on Twitter, however, disagreed with the president’s media aide, with many saying there is no difference.