Following the appointment of Ola Olukayode as the new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) by President Bola Tinubu, a civic group, Save Democracy Movement, has berated the appointment, describing it as null and void.
According to a statement signed by the group’s National Convener, Abiodun Williams, the EFCC Establishment Act does not permit anyone without a security background to lead the agency.
“Section 2(1) of the acts says that “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.”
The group noted that it was clear that the provision of the EFCC Establishment Act as amended by the National Assembly stipulated that no administration should announce anyone to head the agency who had not been a member of any security and law enforcement agency in Nigeria as Executive Chairman of the EFCC.
The group added that the drafters of the EFCC Establishment Act made no provision for a lawyer as many lawyers could have an axe to grind with the EFCC or be heavily paid by the usurpers to defend the indefensible.
“The qualifications, particularly rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police was only used to benchmark the minimum qualification because as at the time the Act was drafted, the EFCC had no officers of its own. Now, even the Course 2 officers of the EFCC are qualified by law to head the Commission.
“Except the Nigerian masses want more corruption, poverty, hunger, lawlessness etc, they can allow serious institutions like the EFCC to be totally destroyed by few men of vested interests”
“We must not idle away while our critical institutions are under grave attack. Those who established the EFCC, the Bar and Bench represented by the NBA, the National Assembly who made the law in the first place, the civil society organisations who are champions of democracy, the Media, the Intelligence/ Security and Law enforcement Communities, International Stakeholders against Corruption, Economic and Financial Crimes and other advocates for good governance must unite firmly to defend our laws and institutions like EFCC from being manipulated, hijacked or destroyed by any selfish individual, group or government.”
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must understand that this singular appointment is an arrow at the very core of the essence of the EFCC. We hope Mr. President listens to patriotic voices rather than those around him who obviously do not mean well for him, his administration and Nigeria at large,” the statement added.