Anti-graft activist tasks new EFCC chair on transparency, accountability

Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, the recently appointed Chairman of the EFCC, has been encouraged by Mr. Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE), to maintain the commission’s autonomy.

Thursday in Abuja, anti-corruption crusader Lawal made the appeal during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

Thursday, Olukoyede was officially confirmed as the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by President Bola Tinubu.

The appointment must be approved by the Senate.

Almost four months have passed when Tinubu suspended Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, the previous chief of the anti-graft agency.

Lawal argues that the incoming EFCC chairman should protect the agency’s autonomy and shield it from improper political interference as it carries out its mandate.

The legitimacy and trust of the EFCC and its operations depend on constant openness and accountability.

It’s crucial to encourage people to come forward with information by providing strong protection for whistleblowers who reveal corruption.

“The efficient recovery and forfeiture of assets earned via corruption are important,” he stated of the incoming EFCC head’s responsibility.

Lawal also encouraged him to involve the public and the youth in anti-corruption activities by launching awareness campaigns and providing educational opportunities.

If he wants to effectively combat corruption, “as an anti-corruption crusader, my advise for him is to strengthen coordination between the agency and civil society organisations and indeed other government agencies,” he said.

Aside from that, he needs to “give solid and moral leadership to guide the EFCC in accomplishing its mandate and create a culture of continual learning and adaptation to handle new forms of corruption,” as he put it.

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