Lamorde’s Fate Hangs In Balance

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Nigerians are still wondering whether erstwhile Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, is still in the Police Force or not, having gone under soon after he was removed and shortly after a probe of his tenure was muted.
While our correspondents report that contrary to earlier speculations that Lamorde fled the country, the man is still in Nigeria, though he has failed to report back to the Police from where he was seconded to the EFCC. This perhaps explains why the Police last week dribbled on our enquiries on Lamorde’s status in the Force, as Police spokesperson, declined comments on the issue when inquired by our correspondent.
nationalTRAIL reports that, Lamorde, until he was relieved of his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, late last year, was a serving Police Officer, on the pay roll of Nigeria Police Force, but since his removal from office, his status in the force remains a matter of conjecture, as he never reported back to duty, nor was he announced to have been retired, or dismissed.
It may be recalled that, the status of one of his predecessor, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was dogged with similar controversy, when he was removed as EFCC Chairman, and the issue generated a lot of public debate until his status was eventually clarified by the Police.
Nigerian Police Spokesperson, was not in a hurry to clarify Lamorde’s status until she gets explanations from higher authorities, which did not come until the time of going to press.
There are however, strong indications over the last two weeks that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has commenced a detailed investigation into some financial transactions during the tenure of the immediate past chairman of the commission.
The anti graft body which initially appeared reluctant to indict its own, may have set the machinery for the probe, even as Lamorde, who has stoutly defended fraud allegations during his tenure in the dying days of his chairmanship obviously did not wish to carry the cross that is now his lot.
In addition to the series of petitions which eventually led to his ouster, our correspondent gathered that, the commission has not been able to pay its staff ‘s allowances throughout the period Lamorde held sway as the Chairman of the agency: an action which earned him disdain amongst staff.
Sources within the commission confirmed this much, as according to it, the fear of the former Chairman made it impossible for them to even demand for their entitlements, saying, “it was a reign of terror, staff were blackmailed and allowances withheld without explanations from the office of the chairman”
nationalTRAIL reliably gathered that Lamorde, who was recently relieved of his appointment as the Chairman of EFCC may have come under investigation for an alleged abuse of office and which sordid details included the alleged diversion of money recovered by the commission before and during his tenure.
It could be recall that the Senate Committee had invited him to appear before the National Assembly , to explain his role in alleged missing funds in the Commission.
The fraud allegedly perpetuated by Lamorde was said to have dated back to his days as the Director of Operation in the commission: between 2003 and 2007, as well as acting Chairman of the commission between 2007 and May 2008, when the then Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was away for a course at National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies , NIPPS, Kuru Jos.
Goerge Uboh, The Chief Executive Officer of the Panic Alert Security System, a security firm in another petition dated July 31, 2015, specifically alleged that Lamorde was involved in under remittance, and non disclosure of proceeds of corruption recovered from criminal suspects, including Tafa Balogun, and late Diepriye Alamiesyehga.
nationalTRAIL learnt that Lamorde may also be investigated for offshore recoveries and mismanaging of some of the assets recovered by the Commission.

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