The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation has announced the appointment of George Ekpungu as the new Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Ekpungu, who served as Commissioner for New Cities Development in Cross River State under Governor Ben Ayade, from 2015 to 2018, is expected to serve for tenure of five years if he is confirmed by the Senate.
Ekpungu, who is a former EFCC employee, contested for the Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency election in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2019 but lost.
The Spokesman for the AGF, Umar Gwandu, said in a statement on Monday titled, ‘Buhari Appoints Ekpungu EFCC Secretary, Names Board Members’, that four others were appointed as board members.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed George Abang Ekpungu as the Secretary of the EFCC.
The appointment is for a fresh tenure of five years. Also appointed as board members of the EFCC are Luqman Muhammad (South South), Anumba Adaeze (South East), Alhaji Kole Raheem Adesina (North Central) and Alhaji Yahya Muhammad (North East).”
According to the statement, the appointment is in line with Section 2 (1) and Section 4 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004.
The former EFCC Secretary, Ola Olukoyede, was suspended along with the then acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in 2021.
Although his sacking was never announced, the appointment of Ekpungu implies that Olukoyede has been relieved of his duties permanently even though the Justice Ayo Salami investigation and report that led to his removal has never been made public.
The EFCC composition is such that the secretary is the most powerful in the commission second only to the chairman.
Section 8(2) of the EFCC Act says the secretary shall be the head of the secretariat of the commission; responsible for the administration of the secretariat and the keeping of the books and records of the commission.