The federal government on Thursday inaugurated a 23-member board of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the appointment of the members was earlier confirmed by the Senate in October last year.
EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, performed the inauguration on behalf of the federal government in Abuja on Thursday.
The statement described the ceremony as “modest and brief”.
Apart from the chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, the rest of the newly inaugurated board members are: George Ekpungu, Secretary to the commission, Luqman Mohammed, Anumba Adaeze, Kola Adeshina and Yahaya Mohammed. Others are representatives of law enforcement, security and regulatory agencies.
The board has a five-year tenure.
‘Generate effective anti-graft policies’
Mr Mustapha congratulated members on their appointment which he said, was a demonstration of the confidence of President Muhammadu Buhari in their integrity, intellectual abilities and competence to contribute to the mandate of the commission.
He called on them to generate effective policies that boost the Buhari administration’s fight against corruption.
“You are, however, required to put in your best to combat financial and economic crimes in the country. The commission is empowered to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes and is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes, as well as fight terrorism.
“I therefore, expect that all hands will be on deck to generate robust policy initiatives that will help this administration achieve its fight against corruption and revamp the economy. Similarly, in carrying out your responsibility as Board Members, you must also eschew corruption totally as Government will not hesitate to sanction all infractions,” he said.
The SGF, who said he does not envy the board members in view of the fact that corruption is the greatest malaise hurting the country’s development, however, urged them not to meddle in the day-to-day affairs of the EFCC.
Role of the board
Mr Mustapha said the duties of the board are limited to giving policy direction to the management and not being involved in the day-to-day running of the agency.
The SGF explained that the day-to-day running of the commission, like other agencies of government with governing boards, is the exclusive duty of the management.
“Let me reiterate the fact that governing boards are creations of the enabling statutes of the various institutions, with the main responsibility for giving policy direction to management, in order to contribute towards the developmental goals of government.
“This presupposes that the Management should be allowed to execute its day-to-day activities without undue interference by the Boards,” he said.
In his vote of thanks, the chairman of the new board and executive chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, expressed delight that the commission now has a board, having operated for six years without one.
He described the EFCC board as one with representatives of many law enforcement and security organisations.
Mr Bawa disclosed that the commission recorded 2,220 convictions last year, the highest since its inception and equally set a new record in terms of asset recovery. He said the inauguration of the new board and the experience of members, place the commission in good stead to better its 2021 performance.
He assured that the board will not disappoint in terms of the confidence reposed in it and appealed to the SGF to help convey their appreciation to Mr President for head-hunting them to lead the charge against economic and financial crimes.
Apart from the chairman, members of the board include George Ekpungu, secretary to the commission, Luqman Mohammed, Anumba Adaeze, Kola Adeshina, and Yahaya Mohammed. Others are representatives of law enforcement, security and regulatory agencies.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the announcement of the names of the nominee board members in June 2021.
The announcement of the board by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) came about six years after the nation’s flagship anti-corruption organisation had operated without a board on Mr Buhari’s watch.
EFCC also operated without a substantive chairman for almost six years until Mr Buhari appointed Abdulrasheed Bawa to the position in a substantive capacity in February this year.
This is despite Mr Buhari riding to power on the promise to make the war against corruption one of its priorities.
“This appointment was in line with Section 2 (1) and Section 4 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004.
“According to the statement, EFCC has been operating without Board Members since 2015,” the statement by the AGF.
The appointment of members of the board was subsequently confirmed by the Senate in October.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...