‘The Fight Against Anti-Corruption Should Start From National Assembly’ – EFCC Chairman
During his screening at the Senate on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, Ola Olukoyede, the newly appointed Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, urged senators to support the battle against corruption.
As the senators answered questions from the MPs, Olukoyede encouraged them to make sure that the National Assembly is where the anti-corruption campaign begins.
He declared that regardless of whose ox was gored, he was prepared to labour hard.
Olukoyede said, “Let the fight against corruption begin from this hallowed chamber. If you are fighting corruption, you become the enemy of everybody.”
He said that the primary goal of anti-corruption organisations should be prevention rather than enforcement, adding that no amount of enforcement by anti-graft organisations would be able to halt corruption if it is not prevented.
He claims that Nigeria could have prevented corruption with less money invested, but instead it spends more battling it.
“If we continue to allow Nigerians to buy houses, cars and other luxurious properties by cash, because we don’t have an effective credit system, one thousand anti-corruption agencies will not do us any good, and that is the reality,” he said.
“We must create an atmosphere to make sure that people have choices. If I don’t steal money, can I afford to train my children in school with good standards? If I don’t steal money, can I buy a car after I have worked for five years? If I don’t steal money, can I put a three-room bungalow in place after I have worked for 20 years?”
Olukoyede also called on the judiciary to place substantive justice above technicalities when dealing with corruption cases. He maintained that corruption cases should not be allowed to adjudicate for a very long time.
“Prosecution should not be allowed to last for a maximum of five years from the court of first instance to the Supreme Court. The Senate can work on that very seriously. If we make the administration of the criminal justice system really work, you will see the great work the anti-corruption agencies are doing,” Olukoyede said.
The Senate confirmed him as the new chairman of the EFCC after he responded to some of the inquiries from the members.
Muhammad Hammajoda was also confirmed by the Senate to serve as the commission’s secretary.
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