Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has faulted 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 South-West region.
The senior lawyer who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday, said in the spirit of the federal character principle, it was wrong to have the heads of the two top anti-graft agencies in the country from the same region.
Falana argued that in respect to the federal character principle, if the EFCC chairman is from the south, it was only fair for the ICPC head to come from another geopolitical zone, and vice versa.
He said though the recently appointed chairman of the EFCC, Ola Olukoyede and the ICPC Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), who has been in office since February 2019, are eminently qualified to run the agencies, being from the same South-West geopolitical zone negates the spirit of federal character.
“If you are going to have the EFCC and the ICPC, the heads cannot come from same zone,” the senior advocate said.
“If you are going to have the EFCC and the ICPC, the heads cannot come from same zone. If there are two positions in the public service, one must go to the North, one must go to the South.
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“If there are four, two must go to the South, two must go to the North. If there are six, one must go to each geopolitical zone. That is the law in Nigeria today.
“So, I am not comfortable with the fact that the heads of the EFCC and the ICPC are from the same zone. Apart from that, Mr Ola Olukoyede, is eminently qualified to head the EFCC. My colleagues who have criticised the appointment have not looked at the relevant provisions of the EFCC which is Section 2.
“There is no issue; the only issue that has been raised has to be considered by the government is that we have in this country, the Federal Character Commission Act and also by the virtue of Section 14 of the constitution, appointments must reflect Federal Character,” he noted.