The Senate on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 confirmed the nominations of Mr. Ola Olukoyede and Mr. Muhammad Hammajoda, as Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and Secretary of the Commission respectively.
Their confirmation came after being screened and allowed to address the upper legislative chamber at plenary. Olukoyede identified three focal areas and raised three posers as important thrusts of plying his new job. The three focal areas are : focus on the mandate of the EFCC, pursuit of transparency and accountability and building the image of Nigeria. To achieve these, he harped on the need for collective responsibility, greater emphasis on preventive frameworks against graft and premium attention on transactional credits.
“ We need to reset our focus. Section 6 of the EFCC Act has given us what an anti-corruption agency should be doing. Number one, I believe we should be focused on driving economic development. Number two, we must also create an atmosphere of transparency and accountability, number three, we must help as an anti-corruption agency to build the image of Nigeria”, he said.
Continuing, “I also came here with three posers that I like to share with us. Number one is the need for collective responsibility. We need to get to a point in Nigeria where we need to come together on the same page and believe that corruption is a cankerworm to our development. We must come together and believe that, with the way financial crimes have overwhelmed our structures and systems in Nigeria, we can’t move forward and if we move forward, it will be at a snail speed….The time has come for us to show commitment”
Olukoyede also said that: “”the time has come for us to begin to look at more of prevention than enforcement. Enforcement is a very strong tool in our hands, we are going to apply it very seriously”. He also pointed out that the anti-corruption war will bite harder with a transactional credit system, arguing that, “if we allow Nigerians to continue to buy houses and cars with cash, a thousand EFCC, added to a million ICPC will not do us any good”. The new EFCC’s boss also called for greater improvement in the criminal justice system, stressing that, “if we really want to fight corruption…..we must encourage our criminal justice system to adjudicate in such a way that, maximum prosecution doesn’t take more than five years. If we make our criminal justice system works, you will see more of what the anti-corruption agencies are doing and it will be better for all of us”.
The Senate, impressed by the articulation of Olukoyede’s initiatives in driving the anti-corruption war more vibrantly, confirmed his appointment as a substantive Executive Chairman of the EFCC. It also confirmed Hammajoda as the Commission’s Secretary.