President Muhammadu Buhari has made new appointments in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,(EFCC).
He appointed George Abang Ekpungu as Secretary and four others as Board Members.
SA Media and Public Relations Officer of the Accountant General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr Ahmad jibrilu Gwando announced this in a statement, Monday 21st, saying that the appointment was for a fresh tenure of 5 years.
According to Gwandu, President Buhari also appointed four other persons as Board Members of the anti-graft agency. They are Luqman Mohammed, (South South), Anumba Adaeze (South East), Kola Adesina (North Central) and Yahya Muhammad, (North East).
He stated that the appointment was in line with section 2(1) and section 4 of the EFCC Act 2004, while noting that the Commission has been operating without board members since 2015.
President buhari has already directed that the names of the appointees be forwarded to the Senate for confirmation.
Ekpungu is a lawyer from Cross River State and former Commissioner for New Cities Development in his home state. He’s an experienced Enforcement/ Compliance Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Regulatory/ Anti-Corruption Institutions. He is skilled in Equities, Capital Markets Financial Modelling, Portfolio Management, Fraud Investigation, Money Laundering, Corruption Risk Assessment, and Due Diligence Investigation. He holds a Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D) focused on Capital Market Fraud/Commercial Dispute Resolution Strategy from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria..
The former EFCC Secretary, Ola Olukoyede, was suspended alongside the then acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in 2020.
Although his sacking was never announced, the appointment of Ekpungu implies that Olukoyede has been relieved of his duties permanently even though the Justice Ayo Salami investigation and report that led to his removal has never been made public.
The EFCC secretary is the most powerful in the commission second only to the chairman. Section 8(2) of the EFCC Act says the secretary shall be the head of the secretariat of the commission; responsible for the administration of the secretariat and the keeping of the books and records of the commission.
In another development, the operatives of the Lagos zonal office of the EFCC have nabbed two young men for the alleged possession of N767.5m through false pretenses. The two suspects, Konne Barieeba and Osuji Obieze are in the EFCC Net, while their member, Obialor Worenwu is still at large.
The suspects allegedly approached an investment company, Luxury Gold, for loan facilities adding that the sum of N110 million was paid into the GTbank account of Barieeba while the sum of N255 million was paid into the First City Monument Bank account of Obieze. According to the EFCC statement released, the sum of N403,585 million was paid into the GTB account of the absconded Obialor Worenwu.
The petitioner alleged that the loans were to be repaid in March 2021. However all efforts to make them pay the loans proved abortive as they used the money to buy cars, jewelry and landed properties.
The statement revealed that items recovered from the suspects included exotic cars, diamond jewelry, two laptop computers, iPhone devices to apple macbooks and other mobile devices.