President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday announced the name of Mr Ila Olukoyede as the new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC). The president also appointed Muhammad Hassan Hammajoda as the secretary of the commission.
Earlier in the week, there was public outcry when it was rumoured that Olukoyede was going to be appointed as head of the commission. He as a former secretary who was sacked and arrested alongside a former chairman, Ibrahim Magu the Muhammadu Buhari administration. He was detained for a while and his accounts frozen.
A civil society group, Alliance for Good Governance and Due Process, in a statement said that Olukoyede was not qualified to occupy the agency’s top chair. The statement signed by it’s National Coordinator, Mr. Ayelabola Hussain, said the alleged nomination, if it was true, would be a serious violation of the EFCC Act which was specific about the qualities and qualifications of persons that should be the chairman of such an important commission.
Hussain noted that, in a democracy, the government should be wary of constitutional provisions and nothing should be done to turn the EFCC into a lame duck commission just because some powerful forces would prefer an unqualified person to run it’s affairs.
He said: “We have watched closely and monitored some of the decisions taken by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu since his inauguration on May 29, 2023.
“While we have, in the past, commended the President for some of the policy initiatives, we find it curious that some news organisations published a story that the President was planning to nominate a one-time Secretary of the EFCC, Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, as the chairman of the anti-graft agency.
“To us, this is a shocking development that must be addressed because we have struggled to understand what qualifies Olukoyede for such an exalted office. To be sincere, we have found none. This is, to say the least, a rude joke.
“Besides, the rumour mill is agog with the story of how Olukoyede contracted a Senior Pastor in one of the leading Pentecostal churches in Nigeria to put in a word for him at The Presidency so that he could be appointed to head the anti-agency. Is this right? How can The Presidency justify appointing someone who still has a pending case of corruption and who is still under investigation as head of an anti-corruption agency?
“In any case, the EFCC Act is clear about who is qualified to be the Chairman of the commission. The relevant section states,
2: (1) The Commission shall consist of the following members –
(a) a chairman, who shall –
(i) be the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Commission.
(ii) 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;
(iii) Possess not less than 15 years cognate experience.”
“The questions are many. In what way is Olukoyede qualified to be so nominated if true? What happens to the pending cases against him even as Secretary of the EFCC under the leadership of Ibrahim Magu? Was Olukoyede exonerated by the Justice Ayo Salami Investigative Panel of the EFCC? If so, where is the report of that panel?
“By the way, it is public knowledge that Olukoyede’s account is still under investigation and frozen. So why is he in hurry to go back to the EFCC? Is there something we don’t know? Does a man with such a huge baggage deserve to be rewarded with the chairman of the EFCC? Hussain asked.
But in statement, presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngilale states that Tinubu had approved the appointment of Olukoyede.
The statement reads:
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.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
October 12, 2023
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