Court Dismisses Suit Requesting Removal Of EFCC Chair, Olukoyede

Ola Olukoyede
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking the layoff of Ola Olukoyede as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Presiding Judge, Obiora Egwuatu, in a Wednesday judgment, dismissed the suit on the grounds that the applicant lacked locus standi (legal right) to institute the case.

As stated by the News Agency of Nigeria an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Victor Opatola, filed the suit against President Bola Tinubu over his appointment of Olukoyede as EFCC chair.

Opatola, in the suit, challenged the validity of the appointment on the grounds that Olukoyede did not meet the years of service required by law for the office of chairman of the anti-graft agency.

He had listed the President of Nigeria, National Assembly, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Olukoyede as 1st to 4th respondents respectively, in the suit marked: HC/ABJ/CS/1403/2023.

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However, the respondents prayed the court to dismiss the suit for lacking in merit.

Olukoyede, who was represented by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olumide Fusika, in the last adjourned date, challenged the legal authority of the plaintiff to institute the suit in the first instance.

He claimed that he is eminently qualified to occupy the office of EFCC Chairman, having served as secretary of the commission, a grade Level 17 position, which is higher than the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, a grade Level 14 position.

The Chairman accordingly asked the court to dismiss the suit.

Opatola had, among others, raised for determination: whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2 (1) (a) of the EFCC Act 2004, Olukoyede, who has not fulfilled the conditions of the Act can be validly appointed as EFCC chairman.

He also asked the court to determine whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2(1)(a) of the EFCC Act 2004, the person appointed to the office of the chairman of the EFCC can be said to be above the rank of assistant commissioner of police or its equivalent.