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Monday, May 27, 2024

HURIWA Commends EFCC’s Reform Efforts, Appointment of Top Investigator as Chief of Staff

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In a laudatory gesture towards the recent reforms and restructuring within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has extended its commendations to the EFCC hierarchy.

The prominent human rights organization significantly praised the appointment of Michael Nzekwe,regarded as a distinguished investigator, as Chief of Staff to the Executive Chairman, Ola Olukoyede.

In a press release issued today, HURIWA expressed its appreciation for the ongoing efforts within the EFCC aimed at enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in combating corruption, highlighting that the appointment of Nzekwe, described as a “topnotch investigator,” signals a commitment to professionalism and dedication to the mandate of the anti-graft agency.

According to Emmanuel Onwubiko, National Coordinator of HURIWA, the appointment of Nzekwe showcases the EFCC’s resolve to deploy capable hands in key positions to drive its anti-corruption agenda. Hence the Association praised the EFCC for recognizing the importance of appointing individuals adjudged to have a proven track record of integrity and competence.

“According to the EFCC Chairman’s statement, Nzekwe, a distinguished lawyer and former Commander of the Ilorin Zonal Command within the anti-graft agency, epitomizes excellence in investigative prowess. His extensive experience spans across multiple departments within the Commission, including the Legal and Prosecution Department, Department of Operations (now Department of Investigations), Department of Internal Affairs (now Department of Ethics and Integrity), Servicom, and Asset Forfeiture Department.

“Regarded as a seasoned administrator, Nzekwe has observably honed his skills through numerous domestic and international training programs, including the Advance Defence Intelligence Officers Course organized by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). His appointment is effective immediately,” Onwubiko stated.

Additionally, the human rights organization hailed the restructuring and repositioning initiatives announced by the EFCC’s Executive Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, as a positive step towards strengthening the institution’s capacity to combat economic and financial crimes.

HURIWA deemed the elevation of all zonal commands to departmental status, along with the appointment of directors to oversee each command, a strategic move to decentralize operations and improve coordination at the grassroots level.

Furthermore, HURIWA commended the EFCC’s decision to upgrade its Security Unit to a department, underscoring it as the agency’s visible commitment to enhancing its security architecture to safeguard its personnel and operations against external threats.

“In his commitment, possibly aimed at revitalizing the EFCC’s operational framework, Ola Olukoyede, Executive Chairman, has undertaken a comprehensive restructuring initiative. All zonal commands have been elevated to departmental status, each overseen by a Director, apparently to ensure enhanced coordination and efficiency. Additionally, to bolster security measures, the Security Unit has been upgraded to a department, with a seasoned officer appointed as Director of Security and Chief Security Officer,” the representative continued.

“A new department, headed by former Makurdi Zonal Commander Friday Ebelo, has been established within the Executive Chairman’s office, with Ebelo also serving as Director and Coordinator of Special Duties at the corporate headquarters.

“Furthermore, the Department of Internal Affairs has been renamed the Department of Ethics and Integrity, reflecting the agency’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and accountability,” HURIWA added.

In response to these developments, HURIWA reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the EFCC’s anti-corruption efforts, provided that they are conducted within the framework of respect for human rights and the rule of law.

“As advocates for human rights and the rule of law, HURIWA stands ready to mobilize public support and solidarity with the EFCC, on the condition that its activities are carried out transparently and in accordance with established legal norms,” Onwubiko asserted.

Continuing, the organization stressed the importance of striking a balance between the imperative of fighting corruption and the protection of fundamental rights, emphasizing that any anti-corruption measures must be executed with utmost regard for due process and fairness.

In conclusion, HURIWA urged the EFCC to remain steadfast in its commitment to eradicating corruption from the Nigerian society while upholding the principles of accountability, transparency, and respect for human rights. The organization expressed confidence that with the recent reforms and appointments, the EFCC is well-positioned to make significant strides in its anti-graft mandate.

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