According to ‘Premium Times’ last Sunday, President Bola Tinubu had chosen to name Olanipekun Olukoyede as the actual chairwoman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Olukoyede, a lawyer, served as the commission’s secretary for two years before he, Ibrahim Magu (the acting chair at the time), and a few other officials were suspended in 2020. The issue raised by the online newspaper regarding Olukayode’s selection is based on Section 2(3) of the EFCC Act, 2005, which states that the commission 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’ experience.”
The report claims Olukoyede, “who has primarily played administrative roles in EFCC for less than a decade, cannot be said to have attained 15 years of cognate experience, especially when he has never worked in the mainstream law enforcement operations of the commission or any related agency.”
Beyond the qualification issue brought up by “Premium Times,” I have two further reservations about the appointment. It would be extremely hazardous to pick another Yoruba man to lead the EFCC while Professor Bolaji Owasanoye serves as the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). The majority of Yoruba people I know are growing progressively ashamed by a number of his appointments, in case the president is unaware (a Villa sickness, especially under his predecessor). I frequently get WhatsApp notifications listing important positions in the financial and/or commercial sectors as well as the ancestry of new hires.
Based on these appointments, there is already a whispering campaign in Abuja about the potential formation of the “Republic of Oduduwa.” I’m hoping the president will be made aware of the situation.
It’s interesting to note that I authored “Tinubu and the Buhari Error” on June 20, just three weeks after the present administration was sworn in, in which I cautioned the president from playing “Amunibuni” by repeating advice that his predecessor ignored. “Among the various essays I published about President Muhammadu Buhari’s lack of tact in controversial selections, one sticks out. I remembered in the essay with quotes from the March 2021 column: “That making strategic compromises is beyond Buhari administration is an embarrassment, even for many northerners. I used a Yoruba phrase, ‘Amunibuni,’ to place my contribution.
This is due to the fact that they are also aware that the appointments being pursued by a small clique are being made in order to further personal interests rather than any sort of “Northern agenda” (whatever that may entail). This explains why people seek out their in-laws, kin, acquaintances, and others of a similar nature. However, nepotism in high-profile appointments leads to ‘Abunibuni’-style group insults.
Then, three months ago, I concluded with a warning for Tinubu: “Even when he did nothing to improve the material condition of the average Fulani man, the damage President Buhari did to people of that ethnic stock in eight years was enormous.” I went on to explain what the Yoruba term means and the message it embeds within the context of Nigeria’s political arrangement. And I wouldn’t want President Tinubu to treat me that way if I were a Yoruba man. I am aware that there are still tens of thousands of appointments to schedule, but most of these things work themselves out in the end.
However, making a statement is equally crucial, particularly by a new administration. Therefore, presidential handlers must use caution so as not to offend the Yoruba people, who have consistently fought for a secure and peaceful Nigeria that benefits all of its residents and where there is justice and equity in the allocation of opportunity.I’m hoping the president will keep the “Amunibuni” syndrome in mind when making important appointments.
His selections must be inclusive and take into account all of our differences. I’ll be keeping an eye out.
Whatever his qualifications, it should be clear that, in a society as diverse as ours, Olukayode’s appointment as EFCC Chairman would be absurd given the current situation. I pray that whoever is thinking this will have the thought destroyed. The second issue I want to make is about the whereabouts of Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended EFCC Chairman. Nigerians were informed in a succinct statement on June 14 that Bawa’s suspension was due to “weighty allegations of abuse of office leveled against him,” and that the commission’s director of operations would temporarily take over Bawa’s office “pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
Since then, Bawa has not been brought before a judge or accused of any crimes. The Directorate of State Security (DSS) merely imprisoned him.
Military dictatorships are characterized by arbitrary arrests and indefinite detention of their citizens. It is reminiscent of the time under the late General Sani Abacha, when every adversary was treated as a “prisoner of war” and dealt with as such. But since we now live in a democracy, the only defense against tyranny is the application of the law and the observance of due process in an effort to protect citizens’ rights. This revered idea serves as the foundation for Nigeria’s presidential system of government.
Tinubu is the last person one would anticipate to infringe on the rights of others, given his record of supporting democracy while serving in the military. Whatever Bawa’s purported offence may be, what is happening to him cannot be justified.
The suggestion in the ‘Premium Times’ article that Bawa would soon’resign’ to make room for Olukayode’s appointment is even more perilous for the health of our democracy. These strange under-the-table resignations, which resemble Mafia activities, should worry us all. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was where it all began. Nigerians have already accepted the story that Godwin Emefiele’resigned’ and that his position had already been filled by someone else, despite the fact that he was last seen inside the courtroom holding a large bible. The four deputy governors who worked alongside Emefiele at the top bank also’resigned’ in a similar manner and were replaced. Such a secretive approach to resolving important governmental issues is untenable in a genuine democracy.
Unfortunately, the members of our National Assembly are unaware of their obligations.
Emefiele, who can be said to have designed his own demise, is not being mourned, but the situation with Bawa is a little different. The fact that the head of a body established to fight corruption in Nigeria is implicated in questionable behavior is not lost on the world community. That simply makes our nation’s problem with its image worse. But since no charges have been filed against Bawa after over four months in jail, it is clear that his situation is more political than criminal.
That is a heinous abuse of authority. Therefore, the federal government must swiftly wrap up its investigation into the “weighty allegations” against Bawa. All of Bawa’s legal rights must be exercised. The implication of President Tinubu and his managers’ automatic recourse to dictatorial instincts to settle scores with people who may have irritated them while pursuing “Project Emilokan” will only endanger our frail democracy, I believe. They must comprehend the fleeting nature of power.
Nat. Standard3 months ago
Minister, Idris, challenges Senate to review outdated laws to improve performance in the information sector
Education2 months ago
Hours after suspending accreditation of degree certificates from Benin Republic, Togo, FG set to extend sanction to Uganda, Kenya, others
Sports2 months ago
Ayanwale emerge winner of Seyi Tinubu Table Tennis Challenge as Ogunlende, Bolowotan task youths on sports involvement
NCC4 weeks ago
Telecom Indicators: Nigeria sees steady increase in active voice and internet subscriptions, drop in teledensity
Agribusiness1 month ago
Borno government tasks media on sustaining public interest, core values
Aviation1 month ago
NCAA cautions pilots, airlines as NiMet alerts Nigerians of dust haze
Aviation4 weeks ago
Libya reportedly deports over 320 illegal migrants to Nigeria
Aviation4 weeks ago
Accurate weather forecasts essential to solid minerals development – NiMET DG