Lawyer sues Tinubu’s government for appointing Olukoyede as EFCC chairman

Lawyer sues Tinubu’s government for appointing Olukoyede as EFCC chairman

An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Victor Opatola, has sued President Bola Tinubu’s government and the National Assembly over the alleged illegal appointment of Ola Olukoyede as EFCC chairman.

Also joined in the suit are the attorney general of the federation and Mr Olukoyede, as third and fourth defendants.

When the matter was called on Tuesday before Justice Obiora Egwutu at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Mr Opatola, who represented himself, told the court that he had an ex parte application for substituted service on the defendant.

“My lord, it is an ex-parte motion, praying the court for an order to serve the processes on the fourth defendant through substituted means,” said the lawyer. “I also have an alternative prayer for an order granting leave to the plaintiff to serve the originating motion and other processes on the EFCC by pasting same on their office.”

Mr Egwuatu, however, said since there was no record that a bailiff had attempted service and failed, the plaintiff should engage the bailiff’s services.

The judge said it was only after the bailiff had attempted to serve the processes on the defendant unsuccessfully that he would be minded to entertain an ex parte application for substituted service. He later adjourned the matter until November 22.

The lawyer in the suit is challenging the validity of the appointment of the EFCC chairman. Mr Opatola is asking the court to determine whether, by the true construction and interpretation of section 2 (1) (a) of the EFCC Act 2004, Olukoyede, who had not fulfilled the conditions of the act, can be validly appointed as EFCC chairman.

Mr Opatola 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.

“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2(1)(a) (iii) of the EFCC Act 2004, the interpretation of subsection (iii), should be read disjunctively of subsection (ii) of the act, in a manner that Olukoyede, who was appointed to the office of the chairman of EFCC, can be said to have 15 Years of cognate experience in any field outside the government security or law enforcement agency.

“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 2(1)(a) (ii)(iii) of the EFCC Act 2004, the national assembly can validly confirm the appointment of Olukoyede, who has not fulfilled the provisions of the law,” said the lawyer.

Mr Opatola also prayed the court to make further declarations upon determining the above questions, including a “declaration that, pursuant to section 2(1)(a) (ii)(iii) of the EFCC Act, the appointment of Olukoyede to the office of the EFCC chairman is illegal and void” and a “declaration that pursuant to Section 2(1)(a) (ii)(iii) of the EFCC Act, any confirmation of the 4th defendant’s appointment, made by the national assembly is void and of no legal consequence.”

The counsel also asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the national assembly from confirming the appointment of the fourth respondent.

He further prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction, restraining Mr Olukoyede from holding office as chairman of EFCC.

(NAN)

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