Fresh facts at the disposal of SaharaReporters have revealed why President Muhammadu Buhari suspended 12 senior officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The officials including the EFCC Executive Secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede, were in July suspended by Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, on the orders of President Buhari.
Though Malami claimed that the suspension was in respect of the ongoing probe of the activities of the commission under the administration of the suspended Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, but SaharaReporters have now gathered that President Buhari had other motives for his action.
According to a Presidency source, neither Olukoyede nor any of the 11 suspended officials were being investigated for misconduct.
“The action was to prevent a Southerner from heading the EFCC. Neither Mr Olukoyede nor others suspended were being investigated for misconduct. They were not even issued with any query. Yet they have been placed on indefinite suspension.
“Since the EFCC was established in 2003, it has always been headed by Northerners, Nuhu Ribadu, Farida Waziri, Ibrahim Lamorde and Ibrahim Magu. The target of the suspension of Olukoyede, who is the Secretary of the EFCC was because President Buhari did not want to suspend him alone so as not to expose the hidden agenda of reserving the position for another Northerner.
“As the most senior staff in the EFCC, Olakoyede has to be suspended to pave way for the Director of Operations, Mr Umar Mohammed. Funnily enough, this same Mohammed was made the Director of Operations by Magu while the appointment of Oloyede as Secretary of the EFCC was made by President Buhari and confirmed by the Senate in line with the EFCC Act,” the source said.
Known for his nepotism, the President despite recommendation from the National Judicial Council in October 2019 for the appointment of four new Supreme Court judges refused to forward the names of the justices to the Senate for confirmation.
Those recommended include Adamu Jauro (North-East), Emmanuel Agim (South-South), C. Oseji (South-South); and Helen Ogunwumiju (South-West).
SaharaReporters gathered that Buhari refused to send the names to the Senate for confirmation because the North-West geopolitical zone did not have a candidate on the list.
“The President swore not to confirm the list until the candidate from the North-West was recommended by the National Judicial Council for appointment to the Supreme Court.
“The NJC just recommended the appointment of four other justices including Justice Mohammed Garba, who headed last year’s Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as Supreme Court judges. With this new development, President Buhari has decided to send the names of the eight Justices to the Senate for confirmation.
“Since the eight Justices will now be appointed at the same time, the Southerners among them who ought to have been appointed since last year will be on the same level with the Northerners recently appointed.”