Last Minute Corruption And Looting By The Ibrahim Lamorde Led EFCC – MM, Firdausi
The Economic and Financial Crimes agency (EFCC), used to be the most widely talked about Anti-graft agency, whose mantra was usually emulated by other Law Enforcement Agencies. But today, it has become a different ball game, which can now be akin to be a lead in Corruption rather than deleting corruption from Nigeria. All thanks to the “Big-Fat-Belly-Leader” who enjoys nothing but, continual demeaning of the Anti-graft agency in the eyes of the public.
Under the leadership of Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, the EFCC has been turned into an eye sour, such that at the mention of the name of the anti-graft agency, fraudsters and criminals rather think of “Running Towards” to pay the piper, instead of “Running Away” to avoid the wrath of the Law. This invariably implies that, the used to be mentioned name of the EFCC which makes criminals shiver, now makes them think of how to bid their ways, and get off the hook of justice.
Our able President Muhammadu Buhari had promised Nigerians that he is coming into power, to tackle two major seems to be inherent diseases faced by Nigeria of today. They include but not limited to Corruption and Insecurity, which fester during the last administration of Ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. As a result, Nigerians yearned for that special CHANGE which would emancipate them from perpetual subjugation in their own country.
As such, the need to urgently revamp/ purge the EFCC towards the actualization of the dreams and expectations of Nigerians under this present administration, has become very salient. This is what people of good intentions should bring to the attention of Mr. President, in order to salvage our decaying Eco-Political system. Hence, the continuous stay of the present leadership of the EFCC can not in any way help President Buhari to achieve and satisfy the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians.
Apparently, let us reflect back to the moment and period when the President was sworn into office on May 29, 2015. I believe Nigerians felt that the EFCC has started working because the person of President Buhari, would no longer tolerate business as usual, where idleness was the bane of the existence of the anti-graft agency. But that was a very wrong impression. Reason being that, the leadership of the EFCC was only trying to do what is called “Eye Service”, in order for President Buhari to think that it was the last administration that did not allow the anti-graft agency to work. A serious minded Anti-graft Ceazer, would rather resign his appointment if not allowed to do his job, or rather do the job and get booted out just like the same reason Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan used in ending the precious tenure of Mrs. Farida Waziri.
We could see how past governors were invited all of a sudden, as if a stimulating “Injection” has been administered to the EFCC. All of that was just a camouflage, yet it was used to grant the highest bidders leave after bribing their ways with Dollars running into millions from the looted funds. Although, that braggardism on arrest of some of the ex-governors were mere gimmick to make believe that the EFCC was on top of their case long before now. That may be true, but it was virtually all the work of the erstwhile Chairman of EFCC; Mrs. Farida Waziri, which the present leadership wants to take glory for. Revelations shows that Mr. Lamorde has not been able to invite his core allies like Ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio, Ex-Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Akwa Ibom and Niger State respectively among others. Even though, the others that were invited such as Ex-Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Ex-Governor Murtala Nyako and others, was only a ploy to extort money and make less severe the financial crimes against their various states. This apart from a more dignified detention facility outside the usual suspect cells, provided for Politically Exposed Persons, after a well arranged bidding. What this goes to say, is that other poor suspects being detained are less dignified compare to the Ex-Governors. Well, Mr. Lamorde may be right since even the author of the book Animal Farm; George Orwell had said “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. What a pity for the kind of leadership which is currently running the affairs of the EFCC under President Muhammadu Buhari, who is well known for his stance against corruption.
It has come to public knowledge recently, that the invitation of most Chief Executives of either States, Institutions, Organisations and Ministries, Departments and Agencies, is only a gambit by the EFCC leadership, to extort monies from them, and make seems to the President that the anti-graft agency is working assiduously. Meanwhile, to make matters worse, as reliably gathered, Mr. Lamorde has decided to send back to Parent Organisation, some of the Seconded Police Officers who do not allow themselves to be used for these corrupt and extorting activities. Rather, he (Mr. Lamorde) decided to speak with the Inspector General of Police, claiming that those who assists “in extorting” High Profile Suspects should not be returned back to police. The fact is very simple, if you must return Seconded Policemen who have spent more than the required number of years, why leave some behind? Let the citizens ask Mr. Lamorde to explain. This goes to show that, there are certain Special and illicit activities which those officer are carrying out for him and his cohort.
Recall our previous revelations which provide details on all the various illicit activities of Mr. Lamorde and his cohorts in the EFCC. We want to believe that the President may not have gotten hold of those facts, but there is need to refresh our memories on instances of corruption and looting that has become “Tea” for Mr. Lamorde. There are instances of Money Laundering, Illegal Asset Acquisition, Diverting Funds of the EFCC, Relegating the Regular Staff of the EFCC, Conspiring with corrupt Officers on High Profile cases, Procurement/ Contract Inflations, Illegal Crude Oil Deals, Bureau De Change Operation, amongst others. These are issues which President Buhari must as a matter of importance, hammer on to ascertain the truth behind the vast allegations on Mr. Lamorde by the public. Even though he has succeeded in using divide and rule tactics on the Regular Operatives of the EFCC, a detail check from within the staff of the anti-graft agency would expose a lot of wrongs of the EFCC Leadership. Also, it was reported that for the record, any Regular Staff of the EFCC who gives credence to the leadership of Mr. Lamorde, he or she is a beneficiary of the divide and rule pivot of the Anti-graft agency.
From the above allegations, the two most mind striking are the Money Laundering and Illegal Crude Oil Deals. As regards the first, Mr. Lamorde is well known in moving cash out of the country for politicians, where he get his own share of the stolen funds. He was able to get away with all of these, owing to the fact that while serving as Head of an Anti-graft agency, can he be subjected to serious security checks? Not at all. Therefore, the man succeeded in doing all of that, and made lots of money from the combination of these fraudulent acts, and used the monies to acquire and own Hotel, Estates, Foreign Schools and lots of other illegal assets in the Federal Capital Territoty and beyond.
Secondly, it’s the issue of Illegal Oil Deal, where Mr. Lamorde had gone into opening a Zenith Bank Account where stolen crude oil sales money is kept. The Edo State born man who went into this agreement with Mr. Lamorde is being victimised and his life presently at risk, hence eloped Nigeria to a foreign country in hiding. This is because he knows too much about the illicit activities of Mr. Lamorde during the past administration of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. There is every need for the present government under President Buhari to locate this man and get full information on the illegal crude oil deal by Mr. Lamorde.
Most importantly, these were some of the discoveries of the EFCC Secretary; Mr. Emmanuel Aremo Adebgoyega, which has made him unhappy with the way and manner Mr. Lamorde runs such a prestigious Anti-graft agency. The Secretary is also seen as an enemy, as he will always not want to be part of these dirty deals.
Also, revelations are unfolding now from the public domain, when it was alleged in the past on how Mr. Lamorde has turned the EFCC Staff into beggars who live from hand to mouth. Instead of providing for Economic and Savings Wage for Staff, the leadership of the anti-graft agency have now resort to providing only Salary Wage. By so doing, himself and cohort are never perturbed with the welfare of their Staff. Rather, funds disbursed to run the day to day affairs of the EFCC are diverted into Bank Accounts and other unofficial use, where interest is expected to yield for their personal aggrandizement. A situation which is completely contrary to the set-up by Mrs. Farida Waziri. Where the “Mother-Like” erstwhile Chairman ensures that she fought very hard to make up for her staff welfare. Today, Mr. Lamorde who benefited from all the goodies that keeps moral and motivation of EFCC Staff at high expectation, has now ruined such an effort.
Worthy of note, is that Mr. Lamorde has refused to empower the Regular Staff of the EFCC, just to ensure that they do not rise through the ranks to become the master of themselves. Thereby make believe to the Federal Government and the public that the Regular Staff are not ripe enough, to pivot the Anti-graft agency. Trainings and other career development programmes that could build the manpower capacity of the EFCC Staff, are usually neglected despite funds provided by the Federal Government. Also, for the record, since November 2011 when Mr. Lamorde took over from erstwhile Mrs. Farida Waziri, it was discovered that he has been short changing the EFCC Staff as per their entitlements and allowances. However, depriving the EFCC Staff their entitlements, Mr. Lamorde believes he is doing them a favour if he provides. What a dubious/ heartless and most corrupt Chief Executive Officer, despite being the Leader of an Anti-graft agency! On the other hand, egalitarian discipline method is not applicable in terms of Dismissals of Staff in the event of any indiscipline. There exist spurious Injustice and Vast disparity in the treatment meted between erring Regular and Seconded Staff. It is only applied to the Regular Staff, while Seconded Staff are only returned to their Parent Organisation, without any sanction or punitive measures documented in that regard. Though, Mr. Lamorde believes he could keep diverting funds of the EFCC, yet hoodwink the staff that the anti-graft agency is not well funded by the Federal Government. Regular Staff of the EFCC are made to be exposed to security hazards of the job, which in the past, “Life Assurance” premiums are paid to further get the commitment of Staff to work. Thus, the believe by Mr. Lamorde that President Buhari would allow him to continue his nefarious activities in the EFCC due to whatever sentiment, is the reason for his increased indulgence in recent corruption and looting within and outside the anti-graft agency.
Most importantly, it was averred that Mr. Lamorde’s intention to return Seconded Policemen, including his corrupt errand Officer, must not be allowed for a replacement by President Buhari. This is because, with the strength of the Regular Cadets so far trained Courses, despite his refusal to let the Mrs. Farida Waziri’s initiative Arms Guard of the core staff to man the various offices of the EFCC, the Anti-graft agency can still survive the test of time. Basically, President Buhari should with immediate effect, replace Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde with an incorruptible person from any other Law Enforcement Agency, not necessarily from the existing trend. This will give the opportunity for growth, empowerment and the ability to distinguish among LEAs on where INTEGRITY lies in order to sustain the tempo of the fight against corruption within and outside the EFCC.
On this note, it is imperative to state that President Muhammadu Buhari has lost hope on the EFCC as an Anti-graft agency under Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde. Therefore, the last hope of reviving the EFCC is to as a matter of urgency show Mr. Lamorde and his team, the way out of the anti-graft agency, including his pretentious Mr. Olaolu Adegbite leading its Operations, who has mastered the act of deception in the running of the affairs of the EFCC. Else, we Nigerians will see a different view on what the President may refer to as total fight against corruption.
Finally, the President must not in any way take with levity, any allegation on the media against Mr. Lamorde, because the truth is that there is no any form of politicization of issues raised on the leadership of the EFCC, as even his Staff in the anti-graft agency are fed up with how Mr. Lamorde killed their motivation in order to wreck the ship of the agency.
God bless Nigeria.