The Nigerian Senate has confirmed Ola Olukoyede as the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Muhammad Hammajoda as the secretary.
The screening process which lasted for several hours had the nominees drilled on several issues ranging from duplication of mandates by the various anti-graft agencies, selective prosecution as well as non-adherence to due diligence in their approach in fighting corruption in the country.
Olukoyede informed the lawmakers that he would adopt preventive approach rather than enforcement in the fight against corruption.
According to him, he conducted a survey between 2018 and 2020 of fifty entities in Nigeria, both human and corporate entities, from contract and procurement.
He revealed that Nigeria lost N2.9 Trillion Naira on contract and procurement fraud, between 2018 and 2023
He noted that if the fraud was prevented, it would have given the country 1000 kilometers of roads, 200 standard tertiary schools, and 6,000 children would have been educated from primary to tertiary at 16 million per child.
In addition, the country would have erected 20,000 units of three-bedroom houses across the country and built a world-class hospital in the 36 states of the federation.
He appealed to the lawmakers to come up with legislation that will encourage transactional credit systems, to discourage cash payments.
According to him, this will help the anti-graft agencies to monitor individuals who indulge in corrupt practices.
He added that Nigerians must support the country’s criminal system to ensure that prosecution does not exceed five years from the court of first instance to the Supreme Court.
He also affirmed that he will be focused, drive economic development, and create an atmosphere of transparency, accountability, as well as build the international image of the country.
Senate chief whip Ali Ndume questioned the EFCC on duplication of responsibilities with other agencies like NFIU, ICPC, the police, and the DSS.
Ndume alleged that the agency has so far flagged over 2000 cases and all with minor crimes, which do not add up to a crime committed by a highly paced individual whose name he withheld.
He reintegrated that the EFCC only allowed the personality to go home on self-recognition.
After several questions and contributions from senators, the nominees were asked to take a bow.
Olakoye was in 2018 confirmed by the Senate as secretary of the commissioner and now the New EFCC chairman.