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Senate Confirms New EFCC Chairman, Secretary

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Mr Ola Olukoyede as the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The senate also confirmed Mr Muhammad Hammajoda as Secretary of the Commission.

The confirmation was a sequel to the screening of the duo during plenary on Wednesday.

While answering questions from the lawmakers, Olukoyede said that “We will do our work with utmost respect to the provisions of the law. We are going to be guided strictly by our mandate.

“There is no way you can fight corruption successfully without respect to the provisions of the law.”

Speaking on the issue of investigating political opponents, Olukoyede said “This is neither here nor there.

“There must be two salient questions that must be asked and answered; has the person committed a crime, has he committed financial crimes; if he has, then I will have cause to investigate him.

“Whether you are in the ruling party and you deep your hands in what you are not supposed to deep your hands into, you will be called to question.

“You’re in the opposition, you swallow sandpaper that will not digest, and you also will be called to answer questions.

“The mandate that EFCC gives to us does not discriminate. This is where equity and justice come in so you will not be seen as chasing a particular section.”

Olukoyede also spoke on the synergy between the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

“Some years ago, I was privy to developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ICPC and EFCC to the extent that we don’t want to begin to do things that will end up in double Jeopardy.

“We developed that MoU. But I don’t think that the MoU is executed. If I’m given the opportunity to be confirmed, one of the first things I’m going to do is to ensure that, that MoU is executed to form a working relationship between ICPC and EFCC.”

The Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Simon Mwadkwon in his contribution advised the new leadership of the commission not to be used as an instrument to fight political opponents.

“This is because we have seen this clearly that if you don’t like my face or if I’m contesting an election, you may decide to go into political issues instead of fighting economical crimes and therefore you take sides.

“You have to tell this Senate that you must be immune by any political-high profile person to level innocent financial crimes against them, to deter them from achieving their right to contest elections.

“The only way you can prove to us that you are out to fight economic crimes is for us to see that transparency is in you.”

Confirming the appointment of Olukoyede, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio said that EFCC had engaged more on sensation than on real investigation.

“We need to take a critical look at EFCC and look at whether the act setting the EFCC even allows them to function.

“This hallowed chamber has the gavel and we have the right to review the law setting up the EFCC for proper functionality and effectiveness”.

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