Senate to Screen Olanipekun Olukoyede for EFCC Chairman Role
Following considerable lobbying by the Presidency and Senate leadership, the Senate is scheduled to conduct a screening of Olanipekun Olukoyede as the potential new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Tinubu’s Request and Controversy
President Bola Tinubu submitted a letter to Senate President Godswill Akpabio, seeking the clearance of Olukoyede for the position, which carries a renewable four-year term.
However, the choice of Olukoyede has faced objections from some quarters, alleging a breach of the Federal Character Commission Act (FCC).
Intensive Lobbying Efforts
The Presidency and Senate leadership have been actively engaging with senators who oppose Olukoyede’s appointment.
They have sought to clarify that the appointment aligns with the EFCC (Establishment) Act of 2004.
Olukoyede, a former secretary of the commission, has undergone security clearance and has been invited for the screening.
The screening will focus on his vision, mission, and qualifications for the position, as well as anti-graft policies and challenges in addressing corruption in the country.
Key Issues Surrounding Olukoyede’s Appointment
Several issues have arisen since Olukoyede’s appointment, including the interpretation of Section 2 of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004, his eligibility, the report of Justice Isa Ayo Salami’s panel on EFCC, and the Presidency’s adherence to the federal character principle.
Legal Justification for Appointment
The Presidency has defended Olukoyede’s appointment, stating that it aligns with Section 2(3) of the Act establishing the EFCC. They argue that his experience as the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the commission satisfies the legal criteria.
Furthermore, the EFCC Establishment Act allows anyone with 15 years of relevant experience to be eligible for the chairman’s role, broadening the criteria beyond law enforcement backgrounds.
Addressing Controversies Ahead of the Screening
While some senators have expressed reservations, efforts are being made to address their concerns and ensure a smooth screening process.
Historical Context of EFCC Chairman Appointments
Traditionally, the executive chairman of the EFCC was expected to have a background in law enforcement, typically as a police officer or with experience in investigative fields. The recent nomination challenges this historical convention.