Why Lamorde Is Not Fit For EFCC By Nasiru Suwaid
I am sure many a Nigerian citizen, who was opportune to have caught a glimpse of the caption of this literary piece, would have quickly agreed with it, if only they had remembered the action packed and highly eventful tenures of the past predecessor’s of Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, the incumbent Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Where many ranking high state officials were arrested and prosecuted for defrauding the nation, a breed of leadership that was habitually fond of always acting with the sole motivational purpose of selfish enrichment and pure personal aggrandizement. Even though, by virtue of their individual and collective oaths of office taken, they had indeed sworn to uphold the tenets of the various offices they occupy, by acting devoid of personal interest, ill will towards others and for every other deed to be done while still in office, it shall always be executed with good conscience. Unfortunately, they never did adhere to the official vows pledged, thus the need for the flurry of prosecutorial activities, as at that time, a reality virtually none existent in the present operations of the national anti graft agency.
Perhaps, this is enough reason to seek for a change in the leadership of the anti-corruption agency, however, this is not the reason why the Nigerian government wants to change the head of the organization or to put it more succinctly, it is not the reason why its representative proxy wishes to have a different individual manning the corruption policing commission. Rather, last week a private security firm called Panic Alert Security System, acting at the behest the Bayelsa state government and under a ‘Letter of Mandate and Appointment’ signed by the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. P. Duate Iyabi, instituted a case against the person of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, not only to seek for a recovery of unremitted funds to the state treasury, which has been placed on a fixed deposit or used for subsequent trading as fund placement, thus running contrary to section 6 and 7 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004. But most especially, because Mr. Lamorde took part personally in the investigations and prosecution of Former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeiseigha of the same Bayelsa state, the case was launched in a suit instituted by a private counsel Mr. Anthony Agbonlahor.
Also, one of the prayer reliefs sought in the application is to make a plea to ‘beseech the court to hold that Lamorde is not qualified to continue in office as Chairman of EFCC, having violated his oath of office’. The fact that matters such as recovery of remittance should be solely constituted against a legally enacted corporate body, rather than as a presumptive personnel action and responsibility of a single individual, even if he were the head of the agency, did not seem to have made any sense to the state inspired private litigation. Critically also, the fact that the arrest of Alamieyeiseigha and recovery of the unremitted funds, occurred during a period that is otherwise than the present leadership of the government agency, did not seemed to have had any rational bearing on the promoters of the highly controversial case. The reason for the attribution of controversy to the whole case is the denial of any linkage, with the institution of the process by the state government, despite the fact that its commissioner of finance was the party who acted to cause the litigious relationship on behalf of the state government.
But, would it be fair to link a denied actions of a state government to the federal government, the answer is very simple, it wouldn’t be much just do so, except for the fact that the individual who caused the institution of the trial on behalf of the state government, he is a serving commissioner legally required to always act at the promptings and approval of the state governor. Indeed, he was never disowned, queried, reprimanded or shown to have acted in impersonating the government he served, surely a gross misconduct requiring of a sack. The government of Bayelsa state in particular and the Office of Governor Seriake Dickson are two bodies, which could be easily substituted with the Office of the Nigerian President and more specifically, the person of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, after all, the First Lady Patience Jonathan is even a permanent secretary in absentia in the state, thus, Seriake’s government is an administration that is said to be excessively loyal to the Nigerian federal government, under the leadership of a mentor, kinsman and godfather, such an administration would never dream to act against its general interest.
Interestingly, the individual upon whom this proxy battle is being fought for is also the godfather and mentor of the current Nigerian president, whom had been pardoned and programmed for a rehabilitation with an appearance in the just about to be inaugurated National Conference, as a route to the eventual senatorial candidacy in the forthcoming general elections. Indeed, in the reliefs sought as instituted by the state government, you could easily sense the pain of a loyal subordinate towards a humiliated benefactor and an attempt at revenge, against the person who prosecuted the individual that made the president who he is today, by once making him a deputy governor. The Nigerian presidency is turning the office into a concentrated clannish camp, where important matters of state are determined by base sentiments and puny resolve, rather than sober, reflective and statesmanlike candor. If Ibrahim Lamorde is to be removed, it should be due to none performance, not just to be done in order to ingratiate a pardoned felon.
Nasiru Suwaid writes from firstname.lastname@example.org
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