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Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has expressed his disagreement with having the Chairmen of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) from the same geopolitical zone.
Falana made this statement during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday.
According to Falana, having the chairmen of both anti-graft agencies from the same zone goes against the principle of federal character.
He argued that since the EFCC chairman is from the northern region, the chairman of the ICPC should come from the southern region.
Falana acknowledged that the current EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede, is well-qualified for the position, considering his previous roles as Chief of Staff to the EFCC Chairman and Secretary to the Commission, as well as his 22 years of experience.
However, he emphasized the importance of adhering to the federal character principle in making such appointments.
It is worth noting that both Olukoyede and the ICPC Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), are from the South-West geopolitical zone.
Olukoyede was recently appointed as the new EFCC boss by President Bola Tinubu, pending Senate confirmation.
While Olukoyede’s appointment has faced criticism, with some questioning his qualifications, Falana defended his eligibility based on his previous service in the agency.
He highlighted the Federal Character Commission Act and Section 14 of the constitution, which require appointments to reflect federal character.
Falana concluded by stating his discomfort with the heads of both the EFCC and the ICPC coming from the same zone.
He emphasized the need for equitable distribution of positions across the country’s geopolitical zones to promote inclusivity and balance.
This article was updated 2 months ago