A group of protesters from the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights stormed the National Assembly on Tuesday, calling on the Senate not to confirm Ola Olukoyede as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The protesters believe that the appointed chairman does not meet the existing EFCC law’s qualifications. They submitted a letter to Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, outlining their concerns and held placards with inscriptions condemning the nomination of EFCC Chairman, Olukoyede.
Adebayo Ogorry, National Secretary of CEDEHUR who read the letter to the Senate President, stating that Olukoyede’s appointment by President Tinubu is in breach of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.
He quoted the extant provision of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004 which states that: (1) The Commission shall consist of the following members-(a)A chairman, who shall- (1) 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.
Ogorry argued that the person sought to be appointed must not only be a member of the law enforcement family but also have 15 years of cognate experience. He added that the functions of the EFCC are not civil, making the organization a paramilitary one. Therefore, the inclusion of the police ranking system and its equivalent in other law enforcement agencies as one of the prerequisites for attaining the position of the Executive Chairman is justified.
The protesters called on President Tinubu to comply with the EFCC Extant Laws and not set a wrong precedent for successive administrations in making his appointment. They believe that doing otherwise could slip the country into a state of anarchy.
“Mr Senate President, The provision above is very clear and unambiguous. The functions of the EFCC are not civil. Hence it is a paramilitary organization. That is the rationale behind the inclusion of the police ranking system and its equivalent in other law enforcement agencies as one of the prerequisites for attaining the position of the Executive Chairman”, he said.
“This section simply means that not all members of the police force, other Forces, and indeed the EFCC can be the Executive Chairman of the EFCC. A pilot, medical personnel, Admin officer, etc who have 15 years of police or paramilitary service, are ordinarily devoid of the cognate experience of enforcing the laws of the EFCC.
“It is important to note that the EFCC Extant laws remain sacrosanct and need to be strictly adhered to before going ahead to appoint a chairman for the Commission. President Tinubu as the number one citizen, whose office is the creation of the law, needs to comply with the EFCC Extant Laws and not be seen to set a wrong precedent for successive administrations in making his appointment, which can slip the country into a state of anarchy”, he further said.