Members of the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights stormed the premises of the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday to demand the removal of the newly-appointed Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, by the Senate over alleged lack of qualifications.
The group’s National Secretary, Adebayo Ogorry, while asking the leadership of the Senate led by Senate President Godswill Akpabio to sack Olukoyede, noted that President Bola Tinubu, in appointing the new EFCC boss, allegedly failed to obey the extant laws guiding the appointment of EFCC chairman.
Okay.ng reports that this comes nearly four months after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended the erstwhile anti-graft agency chief, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa.
During the protest at the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday, Ogorry said, “We write to draw the attention of the Senate to the gross violation of the extant laws, which is the Establishment Act 2004 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu in appointing Mr Ola Olukoyede as Chairman of the Commission on Thursday, October 12, 2023.
“The action of Tinubu in making the appointment of Mr Olukoyede into such a high office with enormous responsibility as the chairman of the EFCC in flagrant breach of the provisions of the laws of the parliament is contrary to the oath he took on May 29, 2023, to protect and defend the laws of the nation.
“It is important to note that the EFCC Extant laws remain sacrosanct and need to be strictly adhered to before going ahead to appoint a chairman for the Commission. President Tinubu as the number one citizen, whose office is the creation of the law, needs to comply with the EFCC Extant Laws and not be seen to set a wrong precedence for successive administrations in making his appointment, which can slip the country into a state of anarchy.”
The group further cited the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004 which says, (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; and (iii) Possess not less than 15 years cognate experience.
“This section simply means that not all members of the police force, other Forces and indeed the EFCC can be the Executive Chairman of the EFCC. A pilot, medical personnel, Admin officer, etc who have 15 years of police or paramilitary service, are ordinarily devoid of the cognate experience of enforcing the laws of the EFCC.
“This much is gleaned from Section 8 (5) of the EFCC Act which states that: “All officers involved in the enforcement of the Act shall have the same powers, authorities, privileges (including power to bear arms) as are given by law to members of the Nigerian Police,” Ogorry added.
The PUNCH reports Olukoyede, a native of Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, born on October 14, 1969, had his university education at the Lagos State University; University of Lagos; Institute of Arbitration, France and the Kennedy School of Executive Education, University of Harvard, United States.
The EFCC chairman was a member of the Fraud Advisory Panel, United Kingdom. He is also a lawyer with over 22 years of experience as a regulatory compliance consultant and specialist in fraud management and corporate intelligence.
At the EFCC, Olukoyede previously served as the Chief of Staff to the former acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu; and later served as the Secretary of the anti-graft agency. He is also a member of the Federal Government Technical Committee on the Repositioning of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.