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CHRICED Welcomes Appointment of Ola Olukoyede As EFCC Chairman, Calls for Comprehensive Institutional Reforms To Boost the War Against Corruption

The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) welcomes and commends the recent appointment of Mr. Ola Olukoyede as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Given the competence and reputation of the appointee, we believe this is one of the best appointments made by the President so far. In his previous stint as Secretary to the Commission under the Chairmanship of Ibrahim Magu, Olukoyede proved his mettle as a patriotic and strategic anti-corruption czar, who diligently carried out his responsibilities of ensuring Nigeria is rid of corruption. With Mr. Olukoyede playing a very important support role, the EFCC during the tenure of Magu was able to make substantial recoveries, just as many high profile corruption cases were approached with a lot of zeal and energy. Added to this, Mr. Olukoyede ensured robust synergy with civil society organization, especially with the realization that to effectively fight corruption, what is required is a whole of government and whole of society approach.

Although the EFCC under Magu had its limitations due to undue political interference, Olukoyede was part of the team which worked under extreme political pressure at the time to record some of the milestones the Commission was acknowledged for, both locally and internationally. Unfortunately, both Olukoyede and his principal, Ibrahim Magu were hounded out of the EFCC by the then powers that be because they refused to bow to certain entrenched interests and influence peddlers that held sway in the corridors of power. Also disturbing at the time was the fact that the then President refused to give the EFCC team the required protection and cover to enable it discharge its responsibilities. There is therefore a sense of justice that Olukoyede who was unjustly and unceremoniously hounded out of office, is being brought back as helmsman of the EFCC. While that amounts to righting the injustice meted against him by the powerful interests, which had the powers and abused their offices with impunity, the reality remains that the EFCC as a Commission is in dire need of strong leadership and serious institutional reforms to enable it realize its mandate of preventing and prosecuting all shades of economic and financial crimes. CHRICED hopes the current administration will not continue with the failed and discredited approach of treating the Commission in ways which undermine and erode its independence.

At a time when the country is faced with the challenge of how to generate the required financial resources to meet the expectations of millions of citizens, the role of the EFCC in ensuring the already limited financial resources are not lost to corruption, is of utmost importance. We therefore call for far-reaching reforms to make the Commission free from all forms of political interference. Interference by powerful politicians and government officials has been one of the major challenges, which has undermined the effective realization of the mandate of the Commission. In the past, there have also been perception issues around how the Commission manages proceeds of crime, and whether there is enough accountability and transparency in the process. This issue has now been addressed with the passage of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, which provides for an effective legal and institutional framework for the recovery and management of the proceeds of crime, benefits derived therein, instrumentality of unlawful activities, and unclaimed properties reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime. CHRICED is therefore confident that having previously served as Chief of Staff to the former Acting Executive Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and as Secretary to the Commission, Olukoyede, the new EFCC helmsman would summon the resolve and leverage on his over 22 years’ experience as a lawyer, regulatory compliance consultant and specialist in fraud management, to steer the Commission in the direction it ought to be.


Comrade Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi
Executive Director

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