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Appointing EFCC, ICPC chairmen from same Region unlawful and Biased– Falana SAN Tackles Tinubu

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Femi Falana

According to human rights attorney Mr. Femi Falana, it is illegal and against the Federal Character Principle for the chairs of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to be appointed from the same geopolitical zone.

The statement was made by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria on Monday during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily program.

Falana contends that the ICPC chairman ought to be chosen from the southern region if the EFCC chairman hails from the north.

Both Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye of the ICPC and Mr. Ola Olukoyede, the newly appointed chairman of the EFCC, are from the South-West geopolitical zone.

Falana criticized Tinubu for appointing Olukoyede, who is also from the South-West like the current ICPC chairman, as chairman of the EFCC. “There is no issue; the only issue that has been raised has to be considered by the government is that we have in this country, the Federal Character Commission Act, and also by virtue of Section 14 of the constitution, appointments must reflect Federal Character,” Falana said.

“It is not acceptable for the heads of the EFCC and the ICPC to be from the same zone. One must be assigned to the North and one to the South if there are two positions available in the public service. Two have to go to the south and two have to go to the north if there are four. One needs to visit each geopolitical zone if there are six. In modern Nigeria, that is the law. “

Even though Olukoyede is exceedingly qualified to lead the EFCC, Falana stated that he is uneasy about both anti-graft agencies’ leaders being from the South-West geopolitical zone.

“Therefore, I find it uncomfortable that the leaders of the EFCC and ICPC hail from the same region. All things considered, Mr. Ola Olukoyede is extremely well-suited to lead the EFCC. The EFCC’s Section 2 contains pertinent provisions that my colleagues who have criticized the appointment have not examined, he argued.

Note that amid controversy, President Bola Tinubu appointed Mr. Olukoyede as the new chairman of the EFCC on October 12, 2023.

The appointment of Mr. Olukoyede came after the contentious resignation of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the embattled former chairman of the EFCC, who was arrested by the Department of State Services on June 14, 2023, and suspended due to allegations of power abuse.