Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) on Monday, said it is against the federal character principle for the chairmen of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to come from the same geopolitical zone.
According to Falana, if the chairman of EFCC is from the northern region, the southern region should produce the chairman of ICPC.
Speaking on Channels TV on Monday he said, “If you are going to have the EFCC and the ICPC, the heads cannot come from same zone.”
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Falana further stated that the new Chairman of the EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, is “eminently qualified” to head the anti-graft agency having previously served 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.
Olukoyede and ICPC Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), who has been in office since February 2019, are from the South-West geopolitical zone.
ADULAWO NEWS recalls that President Bola Tinubu on the 12th of October, 2023 appointed Olukoyede as the Chairman of EFCC.
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Many lawyers and analysts have criticised the appointment of Olukoyede, saying he is not equal to the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police and not qualified to lead the EFCC.
Falana, however, said Olukoyede is qualified to lead the anti-graft commission having previously served in some high capacity in the agency.
He said, “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 the virtue of Section 14 of the constitution, appointments must reflect Federal Character.
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“If you are going to have the EFCC and the ICPC, the heads cannot come from the same zone. If there are two positions in the public service, one must go to the North, one must go to the South. If there are four, two must go to the South, two must go to the North. If there are six, one must go to each geopolitical zone. That is the law in Nigeria today.