The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated a 23-member board of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for five-year tenure. The appointment of the members was confirmed by the Senate in October 2021.
The EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha performed the inauguration on behalf of the government in on Abuja on Thursday.
In the statement, the ceremony was described 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.
Mr. Mustapha who congratulated members on their appointment noted that their appointment 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.
Mr. Mustapha who urged the newly appointed members to generate effective policies that will boost Buhari administration’s fight against corruption said, “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.”
While speaking on the role of the board, the SGF explained that like other agencies of government with governing boards, the day-to-day running of the commission, is the exclusive duty of the management.
The SGF explained saying, “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.”
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 also assured that the board will not disappoint and appealed to the SGF to help relay their appreciation to President Buhari for appointing them to lead the charge against economic and financial crimes.
The names of the nominee board members were announced 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 President Buhari’s government.
The commission also operated without a substantive chairman for almost six years until the President appointed Abdulrasheed Bawa to the position in a substantive capacity.