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Tinubu set to appoint ex-secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede, as EFCC chair

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Tinubu seeks Senate’s approval for $7.8 Billion, €100 Million Borrowing Plan
President Bola Tinubu
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The candidate being considered for the EFCC job by Mr Tinubu is a lawyer, who served as secretary of the anti-graft agency for two years during the reign of Ibrahim Magu as the acting chair of the commission.

Barring any last-minute change of plan, President Bola Tinubu is set to appoint Olanipekun Olukoyede as the substantive chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a move that is bound to set off controversy over the candidate’s qualification for the job.

Mr Olukoyede, a lawyer, had served as secretary of the anti-graft agency for two years during the reign of Ibrahim Magu as the acting chair of the commission. He, along with Mr Magu, was suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020 and was never recalled.

Before his secretary role, Mr Olukoyede had served as Mr Magu’s chief of staff.

“President Tinubu has chosen Olanipekun Olukoyede for appointment as substantive chairman of the EFCC,” a top presidency source familiar with the development but not permitted to discuss it ahead of the official announcement, told PREMIUM TIMES.

Also confirming the development, another source hinted that Mr Olukoyede’s appointment, which requires Senate confirmation, would be made public “very soon”.

President Tinubu, in June this year, suspended Abdulrasheed Bawa as EFCC chair, and in his place, appointed Abdulkarim Chukkol, then director of operations, in an acting capacity.

Mr Bawa’s suspension, anchored on “weighty allegations of abuse of office levelled against him” followed a conventional pattern of unceremonious removal of past EFCC bosses

This newspaper had chronicled how leadership succession at the two-decade-old EFCC had been steeped in controversies concerning allegations of fraud.

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For four months now, Mr Bawa has been in detention at the State Security Service (SSS) after he honoured the agency’s invitation for interrogation regarding the corruption allegation.

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There are speculations that Mr Bawa has agreed to officially resign from office.

Who is Olanipekun Olukoyede?

Mr Olukoyede, who hails from Ekiti State, South-west Nigeria, was born in Ikere-Ekiti on 14 October 1969. He will therefore clock 54 on 14 October.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari nominated Mr Olukoyede as Secretary to EFCC in 2018.

Subsequently, the Nigerian Senate confirmed his appointment in November 2018, to replace Emmanuel Aremo, whose five-year tenure ended in July of 2018.

But, Mr Olukoyede’s confirmation as EFCC scribe came with controversy, as a senator, Isa Misau accused the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Chukwuka Utazi, of sidelining some members of the committee in preparing the committee’s report which cleared Mr Olukoyede for the job.

He had worked as a lawyer at the law firm of former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo before he clinched the EFCC job.

Mr Olukoyede is a seasoned lawyer with expertise in compliance management, corporate intelligence and fraud management.

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He is a certified fraud examiner who has led investigations and civil litigation of fraud and financial crimes in International development projects.

He equally specialises in anti-corruption research and analysis, corporate and business intelligence gathering and processing.

He is a member of the Fraud Advisory Panel (UK), and also a member, of the Federal Government Technical Committee on the Repositioning of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.

Controversy: Is Mr Olukoyede qualified to head the EFCC

If Mr Olukoyede’s nomination sails through, he will be the first Nigerian from the South of the country to lead the anti-corruption agency.

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From the pioneer chair of the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu who is now the National Security Adviser (NSA) to President Tinubu, to Farida Waziri, Ibrahim Lamorde, and Abdulrasheed Bawa, all substantive chairpersons of the commission, and even acting chairpersons, have always been from the Northern region.

However, there are concerns that Mr Olukoyede, who is being considered for the job and touted to likely break the trend of having northerners as the chair of the commission, may not be qualified for the job. There are statutory requirements for the appointment of the EFCC boss which Mr Olukoyede may not meet.

Section 2(3) of the EFCC Act, 2005, stipulates that a chairman of the commission “must be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; possess not less than 15 years experience.”

Mr Olukoyede, who has played more administrative roles in EFCC for less than a decade, cannot be said to have attained 15 years of cognate experience, especially when he has never worked in the mainstream law enforcement operations of the commission or any related agency.

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Mr Tinubu, who has been criticised for his administration’s lukewarmness towards the fight against corruption, is set to attract more rebukes if he eventually announces Mr Olukoyede with doubtful background qualification to lead Nigeria’s flagship anti-corruption agency. (PREMIUM TIMES)

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Peter Obi should be held responsible for anarchy arising from August 1 hunger protest – Presidency

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Bayo Onanuga
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Bayo Onanuga, a senior to President Bola Tinubu, has alleged that supporters Mr Peter Obi, former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, are planning mayhem in Nigeria.

Onanuga claimed that the proposed nationwide protests were being planned by Obi’s supporters, whom he described as failed presidential candidate.

According to him, Obi should be held responsible for whatever crisis that would emanate from the action.

In a post on his X handle on Saturday, Onanuga said the proposed protest planners are also the same people who were instigated by the incarcerated IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu to launch the destructive ENDSARS protest in Nigeria in October 2020.

He wrote: “REVEALED: Peter Obi’s supporters are the people planning mayhem in Nigeria: Obi should be held responsible for anarchy

“Don’t be fooled: the malcontents planning to stage nationwide protests are supporters of Peter Obi, the failed presidential candidate of the Labour Party. And he should be held responsible for whatever crisis emanates from the action.

“The protest planners are also the same people who were instigated by IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu to launch the destructive ENDSARS protest in Nigeria in October 2020. ENDSARS began as a genuine protest by youths against the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, notorious for its high-handedness. IPOB members planning to extricate the South East region from Nigeria infiltrated the protest and hijacked it for their own agenda. Lagos still bears the scar of the malicious destruction by IPOB elements until today.

“Two years after ENDSARS, the IPOB and the gullible innocents joined the Labour Party in 2022 to support Peter Obi, a sympathiser of their cause.

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They are the people spreading the hashtags ‘EndBadGovernance’, ‘Tinubu Must Go,’ and ‘Revolution2024’. They are not democrats but anarchists. They are attempting to call out our people via propaganda because their Messiah, Peter Obi, failed to win the Presidency in the 2023 election. As bad losers, they don’t have the patience to wait for another election in 2027; they would rather destabilise Nigeria by staging a civilian coup against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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Two brothers drown in FCT River

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Two brothers drown in FCT River
•The river behind the village
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Two brothers, Joshua and Samson, have drowned in a river in Robukya community in Kwali Ward in Kuje Area Council of the FCT.

A relation of the deceased, Musa Abednego, who confirmed the incident to our reporter on Thursday, said it happened on Tuesday around 9am while they were crossing the river.

He said the brothers, Joshua and Samson, were between the ages of nine and 12 and that they were on their way to the farm when the incident happened.

He explained that the victims got drowned following a heavy rainfall which made the river to overflow.

He said, “Their father asked them to hold on after the rain subsided. Unfortunately, they left home to the farm without him knowing.”

Abednego said their corpses were recovered on Wednesday around 4pm through the help of some fishermen, adding they had been buried.

The spokeswoman of the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh, was yet to speak on the incident.                                              Daily Trust

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CBN intervenes in foreign exchange market

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CBN intervenes in foreign exchange market
Central Bank of Nigeria
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has started selling foreign exchange on a regular basis through Authorised Dealer Banks and licensed Bureaux De Change (BDCs) as a response to the current fluctuations in the foreign exchange market.

These fluctuations are primarily caused by the demand pressure coming from corporate entities and the seasonal increase typical during the summer period.

By implementing regular sales of foreign exchange, the CBN aims to stabilise the market and ensure smoother transactions for both businesses and individuals involved in foreign exchange activities.

Director, Financial Markets Department of the CBN Dr Omolara Omotunde Duke in a statement on Friday night assured the public of the bank’s commitment to address the demand pressure and stabilize the foreign exchange market.

Highlighting recent transactions, the CBN disclosed that it sold a total sum of US$106,500,000.00 to 29 authorized dealer banks on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19, 2024.

These transactions took place within an exchange rate range of N1,498.00/US$1 to N1,530.00/US$1. Additionally, the CBN purchased US$9,500,000 (Nine Million and Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) from four authorized dealer banks at rates between N1,510.00/US$1 and N1,550.00/US$1. All these transactions are marked for settlement on July 19, 2024.

The Central Bank also stated its commitment to closely monitor compliance with existing trading rules and regulations by authorized dealer banks. This is seen as an effort to promote ethical conduct and ensure stability in the foreign exchange market.

The general public was also advised to direct their foreign exchange demands to their respective banks and BDC operators, adhering to prevailing market regulations.

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With the regular sale of foreign exchange and ongoing monitoring of trading practices, the CBN aims to meet demand pressure, foster stability, and sustain a well-functioning foreign exchange market.

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