…Senate postpones Lamorde’s appearance
President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde.
In a two-paragraph statement issued last night, presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, disclosed that Buhari had approved the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu as the Acting Chairman of the EFCC.
According to Adesina, “Mr. Magu, who is an Assistant Commissioner of Police is to take over from Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde who is proceeding on terminal leave ahead of the formal expiration of his tenure in February next year”.
A source told Daily Trust last night that Lamorde, a commissioner of police, was asked to go ahead of the expiration of his tenure so as to inject fresh blood into the anticorruption agency.
“The president is keen on prosecuting his anti-corruption campaign in a transparent manner. The EFCC went into slumber under Lamorde. All the things you are seeing today are mere cosmetics to show to get the attention of President Buhari,” the source, who does not want to be named, said.
Asked whether Lamorde’s removal had anything to do with the alleged diversion of recovered stolen funds amounting to N1 trillion, over which he is facing probe at the Senate, the source declined comment.
Lamorde served twice as EFCC acting chairman (in 2008 and 2011) before his confirmation in February 2012 toa replace Farida Waziri who earlier took over from him in 2008.
Both Lamorde and Magu served during Nuhu Ribadu’s time at the anti-graft agency as head of operations and economic governance unit respectively. The two were also credited with part of the success Ribadu recorded in his time.
The Senate had announced the indefinite postponement of the much expected grilling of Lamorde , hours before he was sacked.
The former EFCC boss is being probed over an alleged diversion of recovered stolen funds, amounting to N1trn. He was asked to appear before the Senate today but the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which is probing him, issued a statement postponing it.
The probing of Lamorde by the Senators started last August shortly after the wife of the senate president, Mrs. Toyin Bukola Saraki, was grilled by the EFCC over alleged embezzlement of public funds during the tenure of her husband as governor of Kwara State (2003 to 2011).
Lamorde’s probe, according to the senators, was sequel to a petition written by one Mr. George Uboh alleging that the former EFCC boss diverted the sum of N1 trillion, being stolen money recovered from a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and former Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun.
The EFCC boss, according to Uboh, diverted the funds when he was the agency’s Director of Operations between 2003 and 2007, and when he was acting chairman of the commission in 2008.
Our correspondent reports that although no reason was stated for the postponement, it could be connected with Lamorde’s sack.
A statement by the committee’s Clerk, Freedom Osolo tagged “Postponement of Hearing” said the hearing had been postponed till further notice.
“I regret to inform you that the hearing of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public petitions slated for Tuesday (Today) has been postponed fix for the time being, “ the statement reads.