Following heavy lobbying by the Presidency and Senate leadership, lawmakers will confirm Olanipekun Olukoyede as the new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today (Wednesday).
According to Anaedoonline.ng, President Bola Tinubu requested the appointment of Olukoyede as the head of the anti-graft agency for a four-year term in a letter to Senate President Godswill Akpabio on Tuesday.
Some people objected to Olukoyede’s selection, claiming that it violated a part of the Federal Character Commission Act (FCC).
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According to The Nation, the President and Senate leadership acted last night to persuade Senators who were opposed to his selection.
They were also alleged to have informed such senators that the nomination was in accordance with the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.
According to Senate sources, Olukoyede, a former commission secretary, was invited for the screening after receiving security clearance.
One of the sources said: “All is set for the screening of the new EFCC chairman. Having been in receipt of a letter from President Bola Tinubu, the Senate has invited Olukoyede to face its members on his vision, mission, and why he should be cleared.
“Senators will thereafter interact with him on anti-graft policy and why it is difficult to tackle corruption in the country.”
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The interpretation of Section 2 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004, his eligibility for the post, the report of Justice Isa Ayo Salami’s panel on EFCC, and the Presidency’s compliance with the federal character principle are some of the difficulties that have arisen since Olukoyede’s appointment.
Another source, who also asked not to be named, said: “In line with parliamentary culture, there has been intensified lobbying on the sterling qualities of Olukoyede. His choice was the outcome of a painstaking search for a capable hand to give the anti-corruption war a new outlook and reform the commission.
“There is no doubt that some Senators have some misgivings, but all issues were being addressed ahead of the screening.”
The Presidency had insisted that Olukoyede’s appointment be confirmed by President Tinubu in accordance with Section 2(3) of the Act creating the EFCC.
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It said: “Olukoyede was the Chief of Staff to the Executive Chairman of the EFCC (2016-2018) and Secretary of the commission(2018-2020). He was a member of a law enforcement organisation as Secretary, in this case, the EFCC, as stipulated in the EFCC Act, and as such, satisfies every legal detail to be appointed as chairman.
“Section 2(1)(p) of the EFCC Act plainly, ordinarily, and unambiguously established the secretary to the commission as its member and head of its administration.
“It is also unambiguous by the provisions of subparagraph (iii) that once a person possessed 15 years of such cognate (i.e., similar or alike) experience, then he has satisfied the provisions of subparagraph (iii) of section 2(1)(a) of the EFCC Act.
“It is clear from the unambiguous provisions of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004, that any member of the Commission, whether serving or retired, who has 15 years’ cognate experience in their chosen career is eligible to be appointed as the chairman of the commission.
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“Prior to this time, the convention and precedence is that to be qualified for appointment as the executive chairman of the commission, the nominee must be a police officer or someone with a law enforcement background, particularly in the area of investigation.”
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