Monday, November 9, 2015 6:57 pm
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Nigeria, Ibrahim Lamorde, has been sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday following a visit to the Aso Villa, a source close to the Presidency has revealed.
No reason has been stated for his sack. An official statement by Mr. Femi Adesina, the special adviser on media to President Buhari, simply stated that Mr. Ibrahim Magu, a foundation member of the agency, has been appointed by President Buhari to replace Lamorde.
Until his appointment, Magu was of the Economic and Governance Unit of the Commission.
Lamorde was due to appear before the Senate Ethics and Privileges Committee on Tuesday over allegations that over N1 trillion recovered by the Commission from suspects and convicted accused was not remitted to the national purse.
A petitioner, George Uboh had alleged that Lamorde diverted the funds when he was EFCC Director of Operations between 2003 and 2007 and when he was the Acting Chairman of the Commission in 2008.
He has however denied the allegations. Lamorde recently sued a newspaper which reported that President Buhari has ordered the investigations of the allegations of diversion of funds and other alleged fraudulent dealings in the commission.
Most of the high profile cases initiated under the leadership of Lamorde have either being thrown out by the courts over shoddy investigations by the Commission’s lawyers or have made little progress in terms of prosecution many years after they were filed.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on media and publicity to the President however said Lamorde was not sacked, but was asked to proceed on pre retirement leave, preparatory to the expiration of his four year tenure of office which will expire on February 2016.
Yet, analysts believe that the EFCC boss was given the boot given the fact that he is entitled to reappointment for a fresh four years tenure by the President.
There have been reports that President Buhari who was elected on a strong promise to fight corruption has not been impressed with the performance of his chief graft fighter and has been seeking out a replacement for Lamorde since he was sworn in last May.
The sacked EFCC boss has embarked on a rash of arrests and questionings of former governors and other former public office holders in what was a believed to be a ploy to endear himself to the President. But his ploy seems not to have worked given his removal by the President on Monday.