By David Eseiwanbevbo

Fellow Nigerians, the hope and future of Nigeria have not been so dampened

by corruption as orchestrated by Economic and Financial Crimes as we are

witnessing now within and outside the country.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was established in 2003

by President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration through the National

Assembly Act 2004 as amended. The establishment was in response to

international pressure from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) against

money laundering which named Nigeria among the 23 non-cooperating countries

in the international community’s effort against money laundering.

Prior to the establishment of the EFCC, the Police had long been in

existence with a  mandate covering investigation of money laundering

offences. Suffice to say that, the failure of the Nigerian Police in its

mandate for whatever reason brought about the national embarrassment of

naming Nigeria among the 23 non-cooperating countries in the international

fight against money laundering. In other words, Nigeria was one of the

safest heavens for money laundering and Launderers.

Ironically, the pioneer Chairman of the then newly established Commission

was brought from the same Nigerian Police even though the EFCC

establishment Act provided several options. That was a clear indication

that the pioneer Chairman, Mr. Nuhu Rubadu must have been an outstanding

police officer with the necessary creteria to administratively and

operationally plant the new institution, EFCC. Nevertheless, our

independent inquiries from majority of the EFCC pioneer personnel and the

present situation in the Commission is very telling about the lack of

proper foundation and necessary structures which are fundamental to the

birthing of any enduring and independent institution.

Yes, police officers are better known for operational duties than

administration. This has been evident in the EFCC when only few months

after the pioneer Chairman was appointed, he commenced operations — arrest

— immediately with the few cases he brought then from the police without

first bothering about the necessary formal structures of the Commission,

i.e Office structure, Organisational policy document, standard operational

procedure (SOP), Institutional culture/Ethics and values, Official Code of

conduct, Career progression, Standard criminal and recovery data base,

succession plan (police disengagement from the Commission) etc; which are

the basic and fundamental steps for organization, growth and development of

any institution. The lack of these foundational and basic requirements has

created a huge administrative and even operational vacuum that remains the

bane of the EFCC till date.

Successive police administrations or leadership of the EFCC rather than

address these obvious challenges and self-imposed calamity, continued to

take advantage by administering the institution at their individual whims

and caprices hence there is practically no system to check their excesses

or abuses of power till date.

Many personnel of the Commission especially the Operatives who were

trained  to take over to take over the leadership of the institution hold

same belief that the lack of proper foundation and subsequent neglect to

address it was a deliberate plot by the usual police leadership and the

seconded personnel to perpetuate themselves and continuously place the

Commission under subjugation and control.

So, rather than build the institution around structures, policies and

systems, the EFCC in the last 15 years was built around the priviledge

individual police leadership.

Meanwhile, as they build themselves into strongmen, instead of building

strong institution, EFCC was growing weaker and has since degenerated into

cesspool of corruption. This was possible because the police cabal knew

they had a mother organization to run to should anything happen to the EFCC

unlike the over four thousand EFCC staffers and operatives.

Therefore, attempt to revive and restore the EFCC and Nigeria’s battered

image right now, must be wholistic to allow the EFCC function as an

independent law enforcement agency it was created to be because if the

Police was that good, there wouldn’t have been need for the EFCC. The

police has to be disengaged from the Commission completely and forthwith to

allow the EFCC take its destiny in their own hands and be responsible for

their actions or inactions.


It is no longer news that the Nigerian police makes and mars the EFCC. Just

very recently, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu

could no longer hide the proclivity of the police highest authority to

annex the EFCC as police department when he issued a directive/signal

withdrawing all policemen serving in the Commission and at the same time

posting new ones to take over their duties in EFCC with immediate effect.

This is the height of impunity. Even if it is possible that the IGP can

withdraw his men from the Commission at will, he has no legal basis to post

any of his men to the commission without any former request from the


We call the attention of Mr. President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the National

Assembly, Social Crusaders and Right Activists as well as other well

meaning Nigerian to stand up for the Commission before it is sunk by the

Police. The Inspector General of Police needs to be called to order

immediately to stop trampling on the career and future of over four

thousand (4,000) personnel of the EFCC who will not hesistate to emback on

mass protest against any further Police invasion that undermines the


The Police authority must be reminded now that the EFCC has never been a

police department to be micro managed, run or administered by the IGP. The

EFCC remains an independent institution as the directive of the Inspector

General of police is contrary to the provisions of the EFCC establishment

Act and the Public Service Rules on secondment and de-secondment of public

Officers. Since inception of the EFCC, the Police authority has

continuously lobby their way to retain the leadership of the EFCC thereby

populating the Commission with their men for no other reason than pecuniary

benefits at the expense of the Commission that no longer have any need for

them. Their forced presence and illegal entitlement have only breeded

corruption, career stagnation, tyranny, unprofessionalism and

ineffectiveness in the commission.

The Police has turned itself to a new colonialist and imperialist in the

EFCC such that the EFCC operatives who are senior in rank, better

qualified, exposed, educated and trained both locally & internationally in

Economic and Financial Crimes Investigation are now relegated to the

background while their seconded men hold sway in all the strategic

positions of the Commission. Despite the fact that the pioneer cadet

officers (Course 1) of the Commission are now qualified for the

Chairmanship position by law, seconded police officers are being favored to

head almost all the EFCC zonal offices across the country.

In other to perpetually retard the officers of the Commission, the police

leadership in the Commission, especially in the last five years has refused

to conduct promotion examination for the Commission officers, while they

receive their own promotion regularly in their mother organization even

without any written examination. The police leadership, in order not to

allow any form of independence of the Commission, refused to de-second all

mobile police men from the Commission after spending hundreds of million to

train the Commission’s armed mobile detectives in the Nigeria military

academy. Despite receiving the best of arms training from the Nigeria

military, these extremely gallant set of detectives have been deprived of

their duties for which they were recruited and reduced to mere messengers

in the office.

In addition, trainings that are met to enhance capacity building for core

personnel of the Commission are being hijacked by seconded police officers

who by law are not permitted to stay beyond few years in the Commission

except where they abuse and violate extant rules as many of them have been

found doing to stay permanently in the Commission. Now that the EFCC has

come of age, all relevant stakeholders i.e the Executive, National

Assembly, etc must immediately review the EFCC establishment Act with a

view to amending the relevant sections that will strengthen the EFCC as a

strategic, independent, more efficient, effective, professional and

proactive institution that will be better placed in the fight against

corruption, Economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.


Despite the administrative failure, the pioneer leadership of the EFCC led

by Mr. Nuhu Ribadu laid foundation for EFCC leadership post police


Most Nigerians and even the elite amongst them do not understand the

categories of EFCC personnel. The core mandate of the EFCC is investigation

and prosecution which made the operations department majorly for

Operatives/Investigators who must have passed through security and law

enforcement training. Many do not understand that the EFCC has its own

trained Operatives recruited at three different cadres, i.e the rank &

files, inspectorate and superintendent.

In other words, since Ribadu’s term till now, the EFCC has trained Officers

that are now fully grown, ready and statutorily qualified to take over the

Commission. Only those reccruited as administrative personnel who never

went through the basic or rudimentary law enforcement and regimental

training are referred to as civilians in the Commission.

By the Act, not all EFCC personnel, except Operatives can be qualified for

the Chairmanship position. Its important to clear the air in the interest

of all Nigerians.

Therefore, the EFCC Establishment Act has only made temporary and

inadequate provision for leadership succession. No institution develops

without clear, stable or statutory and independent system for leadership

succession. And if the development of any nation is dependent on its

institutions, President Muhammdu Buhari must write his name in gold by

reviewing the various Acts and leadership succession processes of the EFCC

and other similar institutions bellow;

1. State Security Service (SSS)

2. Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

3. Nigeria Custom Service (NCS)

4. Federal Road Safty Corps (FRSC) etc.

It does not help national development that these key institutions above,

rather than build a career path succession or leadership process for more

efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism, successive governments are

very comfortable with highly politicised leadership process. Looking at the

key role these agencies are playing, especially the EFCC place in our

national economy, it becomes inevitable to make necessary amendment in the

interest of the nation.



(A) Sections 2: (i) (a) ii which states thus; “be a serving or retired

member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the

rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or it equivalent; and’’. Rather,

an amendment is proposed to read thus; be a serving or retired EFCC law

enforcement officer not below the commission’s rank of deputy detective

commander (GL I6) or it equivalent in a relevant government security or law

enforcement agency.

Reason For Proposed Amendment;

The EFCC has since evolved beyond the provision of section 2 (i) (a)ii

which has become obsolete and no longer in tandem with the present reality

of the Commission. It is obvious that as at the time of drafting the act,

the Commission was new, had no operatives and ranking system of its own,

hence the police ranking system was used to benchmark the qualification for

office of the Chairman. Now, the commission has its ranking system and

operatives who are best qualified for the position. Also, for

Institutionalization, Independence, Career Progression, Growth and


(B) Section 3; (2) which states thus; “A member of the Commission may at

any time be removed by the President for inability to discharge the

functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or

any other cause) or for misconduct or if the President is satisfied that it

is not in the interest of the commission or the interest of the public that

the member should continue in office”. Rather, amendment is proposed to

insight or read thus; “A member of the Commission may at any time be

removed by the President subject to the consent of 2/3rd majority of the

senate of the federal republic of Nigeria for inability to discharge the

functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or

any other cause) or for misconduct or if the President is satisfied that it

is not in the interest of the Commission or the interest of the public that

the member should continue in office.

Reason for proposed amendment;

In view of section 2; (3), if the senate is required in the

hiring/appointment of the Chairman of the Commission, the Senate should

also be required for the firing/disengagement. No doubt this will enhance

stability, professionalism, independence, strengthen and insulate the

Commission from unnecessary political interference or manipulation as in

the case of CBN, INEC etc.

(C) Section 4 which states thus:- “Where a vacancy occurs in the membership

of the Commission, it shall be filled by the appointment of a successor to

hold office for the remainder of the term of office of his predecessor, so

however that the successor shall represent the same interest as his

predecessor”. Rather, amendment is proposed to read thus: where a vacancy

occurs in the membership of the Commission, no one shall be in office in

acting capacity for a period more than six (6) months, it shall be filled

by the appointment of a successor to hold office for a term or remainder of

the term of himself or his predecessor, so however that the successor shall

represent the same interest as his predecessor.

Reason for proposed amendment;

This is to encourage standard, rule of law, global best practices, strong

institution and due process. It is also to reduce leadership anxiety, over

politicization, uncertainty, sycophancy and abuse of office. There is no

doubt that the above amendment will help to create an enduring and fully

responsible institution. We must quickly be reminded that officers on

secondment cultivate double loyalty and commitment. First, to their primary

consistency (mother organization) and second, to place of service or



While anyone will appreciate the effort of the police at the formation of

the EFCC, it must be emphasized that after almost 16 years of mentorship,

they must now exit without any further delay as the EFCC and its personnel

have come of age. Those familiar with the operations of the EFCC know that

the professional work force of the Commission are the vibrant and

intelligent core officers. It is no longer news that police officers pay

huge sum and lobby to be posted to the Commission which they regard as

“Local Mission” for pecuniary opportunities.

It is not surprising that almost all the key departments of the Commission

are headed by seconded police men, most of whom are junior in rank, less

trained, less educated, less experienced compared to their EFCC

counterparts who have been exposed to professional trainings both locally

and internationally. The police colonialism and imperialism in EFCC must be

rejected by all well meaning Nigerians, the law enforcement and

intelligence community. As at today, the NFIU that was just severed as

department in EFCC, is now more independent, organized, focused than the

EFCC of 16 years after they were granted autonomy about 3 years. ago.

Mr. President, Gen. Muhamadu Buhari and all anti-corruption crusaders are

respectfully urge to redefine the fight against graft, economic and

financial crimes by going all the way to redefine the EFCC for optimum

performance by sending the police packing from the EFCC, especially now

that their primary constituency have better need of them in the areas of

their primary assignment at this present time that the administration is

battling insecurity in the country.

Eseiwanbevbo, A Social Crusader, Writes From Lagos, Nigeria.