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Falana insists EFCC, ICPC Chairmen can’t come from the same zone




Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has picked a hole in the appointment of the new Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, saying that it is unlawful and against the federal character principle for the chairmen of the two anti-graft federal agencies in Nigeria to come from the same geopolitical zone.

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and that of the EFCC that was just nominated are from the south West part of the country.

This was made known by Falana, while making a live appearance on the Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, on Monday, where he said that if the EFCC Chairman comes from the northern region, the southern region should produce the chairman of ICPC.

There has been a lot of debate on the legality and constitutionality of the appointment of the new EFCC Chairman by President Bola Tinubu, with people holding different views.

Falana admitted that the newly appointed EFCC Chairman, Mr Ola Olukoyede is qualified to lead the anti-graft commission having previously served in some high capacity in the agency as Chief of Staff to the EFCC Chairman (2016-2018) and Secretary to the Commission (2018-2023) as well as having 22 years cognate experience.

President Bola Tinubu had on October 12, 2023, appointed Mr Olukoyede as the new EFCC boss for a renewable term of 4 years in the first instance, pending Senate confirmation.

Mr Olukoyede’s appointment followed the controversial resignation of embattled ex-EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who was suspended on June 14, 2023 and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) over “weighty” allegations of abuse of office levelled against him.

Many lawyers and analysts have criticised the appointment of Mr Olukoyede, saying he is not an Assistant Commissioner of Police and not qualified to lead the EFCC.