Barring any last-minute change of plan, President Bola Tinubu is set to appoint Olanipekun Olukoyede as the substantive chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a move that is bound to set off controversy over the candidate’s qualification for the job.
Mr Olukoyede, a lawyer, had served as secretary of the anti-graft agency for two years during the reign of Ibrahim Magu as the acting chair of the commission. He, along with Mr Magu, was suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020 and was never recalled.
Before his secretary role, Mr Olukoyede had served as Mr Magu’s chief of staff.
“President Tinubu has chosen Olanipekun Olukoyede for appointment as substantive chairman of the EFCC,” a top presidency source familiar with the development but not permitted to discuss it ahead of the official announcement.
Also confirming the development, another source hinted that Mr Olukoyede’s appointment, which requires Senate confirmation, would be made public “very soon”.
Mr Bawa’s suspension, anchored on “weighty allegations of abuse of office levelled against him” followed a conventional pattern of unceremonious removal of past EFCC bosses
This newspaper had chronicled how leadership succession at the two-decade-old EFCC had been steeped in controversies concerning allegations of fraud.
For four months now, Mr Bawa has been in detention at the State Security Service (SSS) after he honoured the agency’s invitation for interrogation regarding the corruption allegation.
There are speculations that Mr Bawa has agreed to officially resign from office.