The Connected Development CEO Advocates for Independence and Transparency in EFCC Operations . Mr. Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE) and a prominent anti-corruption advocate, has called on the newly appointed Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, to safeguard the commission’s autonomy in its operations.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday, Lawal emphasized the critical importance of maintaining transparency and accountability within the EFCC. He urged that the commission should remain shielded from undue political influence to effectively fulfill its mandate.

President Bola Tinubu recently approved the appointment of Olukoyede as the new EFCC Chairman, a decision that will be subject to Senate confirmation. This development comes nearly four months after the suspension of the former chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa.

Lawal stressed that bolstering the protection of whistleblowers who report corruption is essential for cultivating an environment where individuals feel secure in coming forward with crucial information.

Additionally, he emphasized the significance of efficiently recovering and forfeiting assets acquired through corrupt practices.”The new EFCC boss should work towards streamlining these processes to ensure that ill-gotten gains are promptly returned to the public coffers,” Lawal remarked.

He further advised Olukoyede to actively engage the youth and the public in anti-corruption efforts through awareness campaigns and educational initiatives. These, he argued, are pivotal in shaping a society that is free from corruption.”As an anti-corruption activist, my counsel for him is to enhance collaboration between the agency and civil society organizations, as well as other government agencies. A unified approach is essential for a comprehensive assault on corruption,” Lawal asserted.

Lawal concluded by highlighting the need for the new EFCC Chairman to provide robust and principled leadership. This, he said, will guide the EFCC in executing its mandate while instilling a culture of continuous learning and adaptability to effectively combat evolving forms of corruption.

The appointment of Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede marks a significant step in the ongoing efforts to strengthen anti-corruption measures in Nigeria. His tenure holds the promise of advancing the nation’s collective pursuit of a corruption-free society.