A Nigerian federal high court has okayed two separate lawsuits seeking to sack the newly appointed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede.
The lawsuits, filed by legal practitioners Mr. Stanley Okawara and Mr. Maxwell Opara, are challenging Olukoyede’s appointment because he is not statutorily qualified to hold the position.
In the first suit, marked: FHC/KN/CS/280/202, the plaintiff is arguing that Olukoyede is not a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency, which is a requirement for the EFCC chairmanship position under Section 2 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.
In the second suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1410/2023, the plaintiff is arguing that Olukoyede does not have the required 15 years’ cognate experience of law enforcement, which is also a requirement for the EFCC chairmanship position under the EFCC Act.
Both lawsuits are still pending before the court. Still, the judge in the first suit, Justice Abdullahi Liman, has already fixed October 30 to hear a motion on notice seeking to restrain Olukoyede from exercising the powers and functions of the EFCC chairman, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, and its chairman is responsible for leading its fight against corruption. Olukoyede was appointed EFCC chairman by President Bola Tinubu in October 2023, and the Senate confirmed his appointment on October 12, 2023.
The outcome of the two lawsuits challenging Olukoyede’s appointment will be closely watched by Nigerians, eager to see a credible and effective fight against corruption in the country.