HOW TINUBU’S APPOINTMENT OF OLANIPEKUN OLUKOYEDE AS EFCC CHAIRMAN AND DROPPING OF GEORGE EKPUNGU AS SECRETARY BREACH THE EFCC ESTABLISHMENT ACT. 

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By: Admin.

 

 

President Bola Tinubu’s appointment of Olanipekun Olukoyede as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following the purported resignation of Abdulrasheed Bawa and the dropping of George Ekpungu as Secretary has breached the Act establishing the EFCC.

 

The appointment of Olanipekun Olukoyede a lawyer and Muhammad Hammajoda as Chairman and Secretary of the EFCC for a renewable term of five years isn’t in tandem with the law. Although both appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

 

The appointments, as announced in a statement by a presidential spokesperson on Thursday, confirm insinuations as earlier published by major news organisation of an intending change of guard in the EFCC.

 

 

According to Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson who signed the statement, Mr.r Olukoyede’s appointment followed the resignation of the immediate-past substantive chairman of the Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

 

Mr Bawa has been in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) facing investigations over undisclosed corruption allegations since his earlier suspension from office in June.

 

Mr Olukoyede, although a former Secretary of the EFCC and ex-chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Commission, did not meet the requirements of section 2(3) of the EFCC Act, to be qualified for the appointment.

 

The law stipulates that a Chairman of the Commission “must be a serving or retired member of any government Security or law enforcement Agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; and possess not less than 15 years experience.”

 

Olukoyede, a lawyer, had no experience in any Security or law enforcement Agency until his first appointment at the EFCC in 2016 when he was appointed to serve as the Chief of Staff to the acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu. He held the position from 2016 to 2018.

 

He was subsequently appointed as the Secretary of the Commission in 2018 and served in that capacity up till 2020 when he was suspended from office by then-President Muhammadu Buhari. He was suspended alongside Mr Magu and some other officials of the Commission.

 

 

While Mr Magu was replaced by Mr Bawa in February 2021, Mr Olukoyede was replaced by George Ekpungu as the Secretary of the Commission in June 2021.

 

But the Presidency’s statement announcing the new EFCC appointments on Thursday stated that Mr Olukoyede served as the Secretary of the Commission up till 2023.

 

Olukoyede’s appointment negates the provision of section 2(1) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, which requires the Chairman to have “15 years cognate experience”.

 

Even if he had continuously worked at the Commission since 2016 unstopped, he would only have garnered about seven years of experience at a law Enforcement or Security Agency, which falls short of the 15 years of “cognate” experience required to be qualified to become the Chairman of the Commission.

Others hold the view that Mr. Olukoyede is imminently qualified as contained in Section 2(2) of the EFCC Act identifies the Secretary as a member of the Commission.

The provision designates the Chairman and the Secretary of the Commission as the only permanent members, and others on the EFCC Board as “part-time” members.

 

Those in this school of thought say Mr Olukoyede meets the first condition of being a “serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement”, having served as the Secretary of the EFCC.

 

They also say that his position as the Secretary of the Commission for two years was well above the equivalent of an assistant commissioner of police or its equivalent when compared with the rank of officials that head the administration of other law enforcement or security agencies. For example, a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) is the head of administration in the Nigeria Police Force.

 

Concerning the third condition stipulated in section 2(1)(a)(iii) of the law, which requires a candidate for EFCC chair to “possess not less than 15 years experience,” the defenders of Mr Olukoyede’s appointment argue that his years-long pre-EFCC experience involving combatting corruption and fraud also forms part of his cognate experience.

 

This experience, they say, does not have to be from working at a government institution, as it is not stated as such in the provision. They argue that it is improper to add to a legal provision that the maker has not included.

 

The Presidency’s full statement announcing the appointment of Mr Olukoyode below.

 

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

 

PRESIDENT TINUBU APPOINTS NEW EFCC CHAIRMAN AND SECRETARY OF THE COMMISSION

 

By the powers vested in President Bola Tinubu as established in section 2 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004, “the Chairman and members of the Commission, other than ex-officio members, shall be appointed by the President,” President Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Ola Olukoyede to serve as the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a renewable term of four years in the first instance, pending Senate confirmation

By the powers vested in President Bola Tinubu as established in section 2 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004, that “the Chairman and members of the Commission, other than ex-officio members, shall be appointed by the President,” President Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Ola Olukoyede to serve as the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a renewable term of four years in the first instance, pending Senate confirmation.

 

Mr. Ola Olukoyede is a lawyer with over twenty-two (22) years of experience as a regulatory compliance consultant and specialist in fraud management and corporate intelligence. He has extensive experience in the operations of the EFCC, having previously served as Chief of Staff to the Executive Chairman (2016-2018) and Secretary to the Commission (2018-2023). As such, he fulfills the statutory requirement for appointment as Chairman of the EFCC.

 

Mr Olukoyede’s appointment follows the resignation of the suspended Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa.

 

Furthermore, President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr Muhammad Hassan Hammajoda to serve as the Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a renewable term of five years in the first instance, pending Senate confirmation.

 

Mr Muhammad Hassan Hammajoda is a Public Administrator with extensive experience in public finance management who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Maiduguri and a Masters in Business Administration from the same university. He began his career as a lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi. From there, he went into banking, including successful stints at the defunct Allied Bank and Standard Trust Bank.

 

 

President Bola Tinubu tasks the new leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to justify the confidence given to them in this important national assignment as a newly invigorated war on corruption undertaken through a reformed institutional architecture in the anti-corruption sector remains a central pillar of the President’s Renewed Hope agenda.

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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