‘Olukoyede is powerless… EFCC now a political tool’ – SAN alleges

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Kayode Ajulo, has alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reduced itself to a political tool of the government in power.

In an interview with AriseTV on Monday, Ajulo claimed that the EFCC seems to have lost the essence for which it was established.

The senior lawyer noted that the EFCC was more effective during the early days of its creation during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

He alleged that the new EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede, seems to have become powerless due to the new structure of the anti-graft agency.

Ajulo advised Olukoyede to weed out EFCC investigators found guilty of accepting bribes from accused persons.

He advised President Bola Tinubu to swing into action and set up a task force to carry out integrity tests on the agency.

“You are saying your operators are demanding bribe and you’ve seen some people, the next thing is to go after them, reveal them, and get them off the hook. But maybe he (Olukoyede) is powerless,” Ajulo said.

“Maybe the EFCC cannot cleanse itself. If the EFCC cannot cleanse itself, the right thing to do is that we have to agree that the EFCC is a critical institution in this country and we can’t allow it to falter. And maybe the president should set up a presidential task force to ensure that the right thing is done.

“There is a need to clean and weed out the corrupt tendencies, power and principalities that have made EFCC not to fly. The essence of the task force is not something that will be permanent. Its essence is more like an auditing and integrity test to check who are those people (corrupt officials) and bring back EFCC to its real mandate.

“The early times are when the EFCC worked as it should. Gradually, it is so clear that the EFCC has already abdicated its responsibility and the very essence which it was created seems to have been lost particularly by the operators of the EFCC.

“As of today, there are many instances that when you look, investigate, and interrogate what played out, you’d find out that it is purely political. Now, EFCC has apparently turned itself into a political tool and this has to stop.”

He added that the alleged retrogression had made Nigerians lose trust in the country’s flagship antigraft agency.

“There are times when, as a lawyer, your client will tell you ‘I want my matter to go to EFCC’ because they know 100 per cent they will have recourse and one way or the other they would be happy because whatsoever may be their complaint would be met.

“But today, when the matter does not have any political coloration, or whenever those involved are not politically exposed persons, that’s when they will tell you to go back to the police. They’re always excited to grandstand and go on media trial and do all those sorts of things,” he added.

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