Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Tinubu appoints EFCC prosecutor, six others as justice minister’s aides

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed a top prosecutor for the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo, and six others as new aides.

The new appointees have been deployed to the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja.

They are meant to function under the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi.

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The new appointees include:

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1. Kamarudeen Ogundele, Special Assistant to the President on Communication and Publicity

2. Hussein Oloyede, Special Assistant on Arbitration, Drafting and Regulations

3. Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), Special Assistant on Financial Crimes and Public Prosecution Compliance.

3. Monsurat Gafar, Special Assistant on Coordination and Intergovernmental Agency Relations

4. Marcus-Obiene Fernández, Special Assistant on Justice Sector Reforms And Ict/Digital and Innovative Technology

5. Ahmed Wada, Special Assistant on Special Duties

6. Tolu Obamuroh, Technical Adviser on Oil and Gas, Arbitration and International Disputes.

The new appointees include Kamarudeen Ogundele, special assistant to the President on communication and publicity; Hussein Oloyede, special assistant on arbitration, drafting and regulations; Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), special assistant on financial crimes and public prosecution compliance.

The rest are: Monsurat Gafar, special assistant on coordination and intergovernmental agency relations; Marcus-Obiene Fernández, special assistant on justice sector reforms and ICT/digital and innovative technology; and Ahmed Wada, special assistant on special duties. The identity of the seventh appointee is being withheld because he called to say publicizing his name and the nature of his assignment might endanger him.

Ogundele is a well-known journalist and currently serves as group news editor at the Abuja-based Daily Trust newspaper. Before joining Daily Trust in 2021, Mr Ogundele worked in various capacities at The Nation, The Punch, Business Day, and Leadership Newspapers, in a career spanning over a decade.

An indigene of Abeokuta in Ogun State, Mr Ogundele attended Federal Polytechnic, Bida, and the International Institute of Journalism, Abuja. He also attended Yewa High School and Abesan High School, both in Lagos.

The new appointee is also the proprietor of Kammy Multi-Biz Global Company, a general contracting and merchandising enterprise based in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.

On 4 June 2015, while working for The Punch newspaper, thugs suspected to be loyal to then-Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State attacked him for photographing women praying for peace in the state. His clothes were shredded, his work tools confiscated after which he was beaten to stupor. He only narrowly escaped death after policemen on duty in the area rushed to the scene to rescue him. The rescuing police officers were also assaulted by the thugs as they whisked Mr Ogundele away.

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Mr Oloyede obtained an LLB degree from Bayero University Kano. He attended the Nigerian Law School, Abuja campus, and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar over a decade ago. He subsequently, obtained his LLM degree in International Business and Commercial Law from the University of Manchester in 2012.

While pursuing his postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom between 2011 and 2012, he served as the representative of LLM students on the Board of the University of Manchester.

He has since his call to the Nigerian Bar accumulated legal practice experience from private firms and public institutions. He started his career at the law firm of the erudite legal practitioner Yusuf O. Ali (SAN) and was propelled at some point in his legal practice to contribute to legal education, which prompted him to join the services of the University of Abuja as a Lecturer II.

While lecturing at the university, he taught courses such as law of contract and law in practice before joining the services of the National Insurance Commission in February 2015 where he rose to become a Senior Manager at the Legal Unit of the Commission, a position he occupies till date.

He was appointed by the Commissioner for Insurance as the Secretary of the Takaful Advisory Council of NAICOM shortly after joining the Commission and serves in that capacity till his present appointment.

Mr Oloyede attended several training programs across the nation and internationally. He is also a member of many professional societies, including but not limited to the Nigerian Bar Association, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, both in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, Association of Professional Negotiators and Mediators, and Junior Chamber International.

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He has authored and co-authored several articles in reputable local and international outlets and his quest for knowledge has drawn him back to academia, as he is presently pursuing a PhD program at the University of Abuja.

Ms Gafar was until her appointment the principal private secretary to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State. Before then, she was assistant secretary to a UK junior minister.

Her profile on the website of the Kwara State Government said before working for Governor AbdulRazaq, she was the business support and human resource manager between March 2018 and December 2018 at the office of the director general of the UK Justice Ministry where she was in charge of staff recruitment and welfare, among her other functions.

Ms Gafar also had some work experience in Nigeria, according to her profile. She was corporate services manager at the Taleveras Group between 2008 and 2012. She also served as executive assistant to the chief executive officer at the Bagno Limited in Lagos between 2007 and 2008.

She was also a legal associate at Olujimi and Akeredolu Legal Practitioners Abuja between 2005 and 2007.

Ms Gafar studied law at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria between 1997 and 2002 and attended the Nigerian Law School in 2004 for her Bachelor of Law.

Marcus-Obiene’ Fernandez’s profile on the website of Tsedaqah Attorneys describes him as “a commercial and technology dispute resolution (litigation & ADR) specialist”.

His core competencies and interests, according to the profile, are “technology and emerging trends, data protection and privacy, artificial intelligence for law and law for artificial intelligence, gamification of law, intellectual property, start-up advisory, robotic governance, web 3.0 and metaverse, and resolving disputes in all these areas”.

A principal member of the Lawyers in Technology Initiative and team lead at Innovation Law Club Africa, Mr Fernandez holds an LL.B. degree from the Niger Delta University, Nigeria, and an LL.M. degree in LegalTech from Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania.

Ahmed Wada, a Kano-based lawyer, is the immediate past vice chairperson of the Ungogo branch of the Nigerian Bar Association in Kano. He was also chair of the NBA Young Lawyers Forum between 2016 to 2018.

Mr Oyedepo is an employee of the EFCC. A high-flying prosecutor for the agency, Mr Oyedepo, rose to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

He was one of the EFCC officials victimized alongside then acting chair of the agency, Ibrahim Magu, by the immediate-past AGF, Abubakar Malami, who instigated a probe of the agency to oust Mr Magu. The report of probe remains a top secret to date.

In one of Mr Oyedepo’s landmark cases, he helped the anti-graft agency secure the final forfeiture of N9.2 billion, $8.4 million linked to former Nigerian first lady, Patience Jonathan, in 2019.

Similarly, in 2018, Mr Oyedepo secured the forfeiture N664 million, $137,680 to the Nigerian government from a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Clement Onubuogo.

Given Mr Oyedepo’s vast experience in criminal prosecution, he will be assisting the AGF in driving the federal government’s anti-corruption agenda.

In what appeared to be the AGF’s response to tackling inter-agency rivalry among law enforcement institutions, Mr Fagbemi while being screened at the Senate for the role of Justice Minister promised to advise President Tinubu regarding unbundling the EFCC and the ICPC by taking away the prosecutorial powers, thereby leaving them with only investigation of corruption cases.


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