The Senate has confirmed Ola Olukoyede as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). President Bola Tinubu’s nominee, Olukoyede, was given the green light during a screening and confirmation process at the National Assembly complex. President Tinubu had appointed Olukoyede and Muhammad Hammajoda as Secretary of the anti-graft agency on October 12, 2023, and sought Senate confirmation for their appointments.
According to the presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, Olukoyede’s appointment is initially for a renewable term of four years, while Hammajoda was appointed as the Secretary of the EFCC for a renewable term of five years, pending Senate confirmation.
In a separate development, the Senate also confirmed the appointment of Halima Shehu as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA).
Olukoyede’s appointment had sparked controversy, as some critics argued that he did not hold the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police and therefore lacked the qualifications to lead the nation’s premier anti-graft agency. However, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana countered these arguments, asserting that Olukoyede is “eminently qualified” for the position. He highlighted Olukoyede’s extensive experience, including serving as Chief of Staff to the EFCC Chairman from 2016 to 2018 and as Secretary to the Commission from 2018 to 2023, with a total of 22 years of relevant experience.
Falana also suggested that if the EFCC chairman hails from the northern region, the southern region should produce the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). At the time, both Olukoyede and the then ICPC Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, were from the South-West geopolitical zone.
This Senate confirmation brings Ola Olukoyede one step closer to officially assuming his role as the Chairman of the EFCC, which plays a crucial role in Nigeria’s efforts to combat corruption and financial crimes.