President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has ended the grip of the north on anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by appointing the first chairman of southern extraction since the creation of the agency in 2003.
Tinubu on Thursday appointed Olanipekun Olukoyede as the substantive chairman replacing suspended Abdulrasheed Bawa who is in custody following corruption allegations against him.
Tinubu also appointed Muhammad Hassan Hammajoda as the new Secretary of the EFCC.
Olukoyede who had previously served as Chief of Staff to the Executive Chairman of the EFCC between 2016-2018 and Secretary to the Commission between 2018-2023 awaits a screening exercise before the Nigerian senate.
Prior to his appointment by Tinubu, all the EFCC chairmen have been from the north of Nigeria. They are:
Nuhu Ribadu (2003 – 2007): When the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was established in 2003 by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, he was named the first chairman. Ribadu was born on October 21, 1960, and is a retired Nigerian police officer who entered politics. Under Ribadu’s leadership, the government charged the EFCC with combating corruption and fraud.
Ibrahim Lamorde (Acting Chairman, 2008): Lamorde took over as acting head of the EFCC when Ribadu was removed in 2007. Prior to his assignment, he was a member of the Nigeria Police’s newly formed Special Fraud Unit (SFU). In 2006, Lamorde was appointed Director of Operations at the EFCC.
Farida Mzamber Waziri (2008 – 2011): From 2008 to 2011, Farida Waziri served as the first female chairperson of the EFCC. She replaced Lamorde who was the acting chairman. She held the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police before being named EFCC chairman in October 2008 by the late former president of Nigeria, Umaru Yar’Adua.
Ibrahim Lamorde (2011 – 2015): When former president Goodluck Jonathan fired Farida Waziri, he once more assumed the chairmanship in an acting capacity. He wasn’t officially confirmed as the Chairman of the EFCC until October 15th, 2012. At the commission, he has held a variety of positions.
Ibrahim Magu (Acting Chairman, 2015 – 2020): From October 9, 2015, till President Muhammadu Buhari suspended him on October 7, 2020, Ibrahim Magu presided as the acting chairman of the EFCC. He was Ibrahim Lamorde’s successor. Magu was a member of the group of EFCC employees who helped establish the anti-graft organisation during Nuhu Ribadu’s tenure there.
Mohammed Umar Abba (Acting Chairman, 2020 – 2021): The most senior operational officer (Director of Operations) of the Commission, Mohammed Umar Abba, Commissioner of Police (CP), assumed the role as acting chairman on July 9, 2020. Seven months after he turned over the reins to a new boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa.
Abdulrasheed Bawa (2021 – 2023): Bawa is a Nigerian investigator who took Umar Mohammed Abba’s place. The National Assembly confirmed him as the Agency’s executive chairman on October 24, 2021. He was however suspended by President Bola Tinubu for allegedly abusing his position.
Abdulkarim Chukkol: Following the suspension of Bawa on June 14, 2023, Abdulkarim Chukkol was named as acting chairman of the Commission. Until this new role, he was the Director of Operations of the Commission.
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