News

June 20, 2024

Court dismisses suit seeking removal of EFCC’s chairman, Olukoyede

EFCC secures 3,175 convictions, recovers N156bn in one year

EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede

 A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, dismissed a suit seeking the sack of Mr Ola Olukoyede as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a judgment, dismissed the suit on the grounds that the applicant lacked locus standi (legal right) to institute the case.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Mr Victor Opatola, had filed the suit against President Bola Tinubu over his appointment of Olukoyede as EFCC’s chair.

Opatola, in the suit had challenged the validity of the appointment on the grounds that Olukoyede did not meet the years of service required by law for the office of chairman of the anti-graft agency.

He had listed the President of Nigeria, National Assembly, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Olukoyede as 1st to 4th respondents respectively, in the suit marked: HC/ABJ/CS/1403/2023.

However, the respondents prayed the court to dismiss the suit for lacking in merit.

Olukoyede, who was represented by Olumide Fusika, SAN, in the last adjourned date, challenged the legal authority of the plaintiff to institute the suit in the first instance.

Besides, Olukoyede claimed that he is eminently qualified to occupy the office of EFCC Chairman, having served as secretary of the commission, a grade Level 17 position, which is higher than the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, a grade Level 14 position.

He accordingly asked the court to dismiss the suit.

After listening to all parties in the suit, Justice Egwuatu had adjourned until today for judgment.

Opatola had, among others, raised for determination: whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2 (1) (a) of the EFCC Act 2004, Olukoyede, who has not fulfilled the conditions of the Act can be validly appointed as EFCC chairman.

He also asked the court to determine whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2(1)(a) of the EFCC Act 2004, the person appointed to the office of the chairman of the EFCC can be said to be above the rank of assistant commissioner of police or its equivalent.

“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2(1)(a) (iii) of the EFCC Act 2004, the interpretation of subsection (iii) should be read disjunctively of subsection (ii) of the act in a manner that Olukoyede, who was appointed to the office of the chairman of EFCC can be said to have 15 Years of cognate experience in any field outside the government security or law enforcement agency.