Calabar – Controversy has surrounded President Bola Tinubu’s appointment of Ola Olukoyede as the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Critics argue that the appointment is unlawful and in violation of the EFCC Act, sparking a debate about Olukoyede’s qualifications NEGROIDHAVEN has learnt.
The EFCC Act, Section 2(3), clearly states that the Chairman and members of the Commission must be appointed by the President and must meet specific qualifications, which include having been a serving or retired member of a government security or law enforcement agency, possessing not less than 15 years of cognate experience, and not being below the rank of an assistant commissioner of police.
However, Mr. Olukoyede, a lawyer, has spent the majority of his career outside government security or law enforcement agencies. Critics point out that his experience as Chief of Staff to the EFCC Chairman and later as Secretary to the Commission doesn’t equate to the experience required by the EFCC Act.
Nonetheless, the President’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, emphasized that the appointment adheres to the law, citing Mr. Olukoyede’s extensive background as a regulatory compliance consultant and specialist in fraud management and corporate intelligence. Ngelale stated that Mr. Olukoyede fulfilled the statutory requirement for the Chairman of the EFCC.
Mr. Olukoyede is expected to serve as the Executive Chairman of the EFCC for a renewable term of four years in the first instance, pending Senate confirmation.
The appointment follows the resignation of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended Executive Chairman of the EFCC, who has been under investigation by the State Security Service (SSS) over undisclosed corruption allegations since his suspension in June.
In addition to the Chairman’s appointment, Muhammad Hassan Hammajoda was appointed as the Secretary of the EFCC for a renewable term of five years in the first instance, subject to Senate confirmation. Mr. Hammajoda is a public administrator with extensive experience in public finance management.
President Bola Tinubu has tasked the new EFCC leadership to justify the confidence placed in them and to continue the war on corruption, a central pillar of the President’s Renewed Hope agenda.
It remains to be seen how the Senate will respond to these appointments, given the controversy surrounding Mr. Olukoyede’s qualifications.