President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is reportedly planning to appoint Olanipekun Olukoyede as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Olukoyede previously served as the secretary of the EFCC for two years under former acting chairman Ibrahim Magu.
However, he was suspended from office along with Magu in 2020 and has not been recalled.
Before his role as secretary, Olukoyede served as Magu’s chief of staff. His appointment, which would require Senate confirmation, is expected to be announced soon, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Olukoyede’s potential nomination is generating controversy because he lacks experience in law enforcement or investigation.
Critics argue that he is also too closely associated with Magu, who faced controversy during his tenure as EFCC chairman.
However, Olukoyede’s supporters highlight his qualifications as a lawyer with experience in compliance management, corporate intelligence, and fraud management. He is also said to be a certified fraud examiner.
It’s worth noting that there are statutory requirements for the appointment of the EFCC chairman that Olukoyede may not meet. Section 2(3) of the EFCC Act, 2005, specifies that the chairman “must 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, possess not less than 15 years of experience.”
If the Senate confirms his nomination, Olukoyede would become the first Nigerian from the South to lead the EFCC.
This development comes after President Buhari suspended Abdulrasheed Bawa, the previous Chairman of the anti-graft agency, and appointed Abdulkarim Chukkol as acting chairman.
Mr. Bawa’s suspension was based on “weighty allegations of abuse of office,” and there have been speculations that he might officially resign from office.