Two distinct lawsuits, brought before a Nigerian federal high court, have been granted permission to proceed. These legal actions aim to remove the recently appointed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede, and to determine Olukeyede’s legitimacy.
The lawsuits, initiated by legal practitioners Mr. Stanley Okawara and Mr. Maxwell Opara, dispute Olukoyede’s appointment on the grounds that he lacks the statutory qualifications required for the position.
The lawsuits to determine Olukoyede’s legitimacy
In the initial lawsuit, identified as FHC/KN/CS/280/202, the plaintiff asserts that Olukoyede does not hold current or past membership in any government security or law enforcement agency, a mandatory qualification for the EFCC chairmanship role as stipulated in Section 2 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.
In the second lawsuit, bearing the designation FHC/ABJ/CS/1410/2023, the plaintiff contends that Olukoyede lacks the requisite 15 years of relevant law enforcement experience, which is also a mandatory requirement for the EFCC chairmanship position under the EFCC Act.
Both legal actions remain in progress within the court system. In the first case, presided over by Justice Abdullahi Liman, a hearing for a motion on notice has been scheduled for October 30. This motion seeks to prevent Olukoyede from executing the authorities and responsibilities of the EFCC chairman while the case is pending and awaiting final determination.
The anti-corruption agency in Nigeria, headed by its chairman, plays a pivotal role in spearheading the nation’s battle against corruption. Olanipekun Olukoyede assumed the position of EFCC chairman in October 2023, following his appointment by President Bola Tinubu, which was subsequently confirmed by the Senate on October 12, 2023.
What to note on Olukoyede’s legitimacy
The resolution of the two lawsuits contesting Olukoyede’s appointment will be closely monitored by the Nigerian populace, who are keenly anticipating a trustworthy and efficient campaign against corruption in the nation.
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