Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, has run into troubled waters as the Federal Government through its Ministry of Justice has ordered his probe.
Interestingly, the EFCC is to carry out the probe of its chairman over allegations that Lamorde diverted about N1trn proceeds of corruption recovered by the anti-graft agency.
In a letter signed by the Director, Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Muhammad Diri, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Abdullahi Yola, it directed the EFCC to investigate the allegation against Lamorde and to forward the result of its investigation to him “as soon as it is completed”.
The letter, with reference number DPPA/PET/EFCC/006/2008 reads, “I refer to your letter dated the 28th September, 2015, in respect of the above mentioned subject matter.
“I am directed to inform you that your petition has been sent to the EFCC for their response to the allegation contained therein. The commission has been directed by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary to forward the result of its investigation as soon as it is completed.
“Accept please, the assurances of the highest regards of the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary.”
The investigation of Lamorde is sequel to a petition by the Chief Executive Officer of Panic Alert Security Systems, Mr. George Uboh.
Uboh had, in his petition, asked the Ministry of Justice “through which EFCC derives its power to prosecute to immediately rescind the fiat to prosecute criminal suspects from EFCC.”
He also sought an immediate issuance of “fiat for the prosecution of EFCC’s past and present leadership and their known and unknown co-conspirators via the 22-page preliminary criminal charges the undersigned has prepared.”
It will be recalled that Uboh had earlier petitioned the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, levelling the same set of allegations against Lamorde.
In the petition, Uboh alleged that the EFCC boss diverted, among others, the loot recovered from a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha; and an ex-Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun.
He accused Lamorde of specific instances of under-remittance and non-disclosure of proceeds of corruption recovered from criminal suspects, including Balogun and Alamieyeseigha, who reportedly died of cardiac arrest recently.
According to him, the fraud was said to have dated back to his days as the Director of Operations of the EFCC between 2003 and 2007 as well as when he acted as the chairman of the commission between June 2007 and May 2008, when the then EFCC boss, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, was away for a course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.
The petitioner, who alleged that the EFCC had not accounted for “offshore recovery” and that “over half of the assets seized from suspects are not reflected in the EFCC exhibit records,” promised the Senate that he would produce “overwhelming evidence” to back his claims against Lamorde.