CHAIRMAN of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, is presently being investigated over allegations of diversion of over N1 trillion from the sale of confiscated properties belonging to convicted public officials including former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyesiegha and former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, among many others.
Our reporter gathered that the Presidency’s searchlight had actually been on the EFCC following complaints and reports that EFCC operatives were notoriously letting some financial crimes suspects off the hook rather than prosecute them.
The decision to launch a full-scale investigation, however, started after one George Uboh appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on August 23 where he alleged that Lamorde dipped his hands into the said funds.
It was gathered that after his appearance at the Senate, the Presidency picked interest in the matter and directed the Office of the National Special Adviser (NSA) to commence investigations into the allegations.
A National Assembly source said thereafter, the NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd) reportedly swung into action.
“Series of complaints against Lamorde is his perceived slack supervision of his operatives. There have been series of allegations that operatives collect bribe from suspects and let them off the hook rather than investigate allegations thoroughly.
“This investigation is not a witch-hunt…It is meant to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are not mere allegations but, they are weighty enough to warrant presidential scrutiny.”
In his petition to the Senate, Uboh said the fraud allegedly perpetrated by Larmode dated back to his days as the Director of Operations of the EFCC between 2003 and 2007, as well as an acting Chairman of the commission between June 2007 and May 2008, when the then chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, was away for a course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.
Uboh, Chief Executive Officer of Panic Alert Security Systems, a security firm, in his petition dated July 31 accused Lamorde of some specific instances of under-remittance and non-disclosure of proceeds of corruption recovered from criminal suspects, including Balogun and Alamieyeseigha.
He assured the Senate that he would produce “overwhelming evidence” to back his claims against Lamorde.
Uboh also alleged that the EFCC had not accounted for “offshore recoveries” and that “over half of the assets seized from suspects are not reflected in EFCC exhibit records.”
The petitioner equally accused Lamorde of conspiring with some EFCC officers and external auditors “to operate and conceal a recovery account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and excluded the balances from your audited financial statements between 2005 and 2011.”
“Lamorde continues to conceal the details of the unsold properties forfeited by both Tafa Balogun and DSP Alamieyeseigha despite receiving rent revenues from some estate agents on the said properties,” he further alleged.