EFCC disclaimer: Petition that nailed Lamorde




EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde
EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde

Reactions trailing the reports that the immediate past Director of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Barrister Juliet Ibekaku and Michael Nzekwe, who were during the week disclaimed by the EFCC, has further exposed the real reasons behind the comedy of errors.
The bottom-line is the possible anti-corruption war of the incoming APC administration.
Our multiple checks and investigations revealed that the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is not comfortable with the two officers disclaimed because they have a lot of information on the criminal activities that is ongoing in the Commission, having worked in the system.
Rather than allow them gain from the new government and nail senior officials of the Commission, a hurried disclaimer was designed to smear them and paint them as guilty. On Friday, the EFCC bought half-page space on two national daily newspapers, disclaiming Ibekaku and Nzekwe, a pastor, and a known non-compliant detective. The disclaimer announced that the two officers, who are in court over their forced exit from the organisation, are no longer in the service of the Commission.
When contacted, Ibekaku declined comments on the matter, but promised to speak at the appropriate time. Nzekwe eventually replied our three-page SMS to him saying “I am very sorry I can’t reply your questions. These matters are before the National Industrial Court Abuja. It’s coming up on the 18th May 2015.”
Sources within the organisation revealed that the present EFCC leadership under the leadership of Ibrahim Lamorde is worried stiff with the possible future of his team in view of the change in the nation’s political leadership. More worrisome is the stout stance of General Muhammadu Buhari who made anti-corruption a centre of his campaigns.
Lamorde had calculated that the two officers may be giving the new administration deep internal information of and about the Commission. Information that filtered in early last week showed that Ibekaku was listed in the panel that will probe the Commission. Nzekwe knows so much that can be used to nail Lamorde hence, the decision to discredit the two of them with the disclaimer.
Nzekwe had in July 2013 went to the USA. Lamorde had accused him for staying for extra days counting Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays thus, declaring him a deserter. He was on official leave. He asked for leave to stay a little longer. He returned, was working and was being paid his salaries during which he wrote promotion examination based on the commission’s memo and published list. He was trapped for an offence committed almost a year ago. That was how he was hurriedly dismissed. The Commission Secretary, Aremu Adegboyega, the number two man, opposed the dismissal and wrote to Lamorde which he refused.
A staff of the Commission, who spoke on the grounds of strict anonymity and confidentiality, told www.gongnews.net that “the disclaimer did not achieve the objective. Staffers only got a copy of a three-page petition written by one of the pension suspects, Mrs Uzoma Attang, which indicted our chairman and for which reason Nzekwe’s career was to be short changed.”
“The Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, is visibly worried about his fate post 29th May. The fears are compounded by the possibility of becoming a subject of investigation and prosecution, considering series of shoddy deals some of his fronts may have been involved in on his behalf that Nzekwe has which can be made available to the new government.
A staffer had earlier told this newspaper: “my brother, you should understand the game. Our Chairman is worried. He knows that his days in the Commission are numbered, as those that have been shielding him are all going with the PDP administration. There are so many concerns, as some of the cases are obvious and difficult to cover up. Lamorde is afraid that the former NFIU Director, Barrister Ibekaku and Nzekwe, whom he forced out of the Commission, may be paying back with the information they have. What he has simply done is to see if he can put a question mark on their persons, so that when the report of the panel is released and he is indicted, it will look as if it is vengeance. That woman, Ibekaku and Mike Nzekwe are Lamorde’s greatest nightmare at the moment.”
It would be recalled that Barrister Ibekaku, while in office, had a fierce battle with Lamorde, following her move to secure independence for the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), through an Act of Parliament. She was dismissed with an e-mail message!
Her office was attacked in November 2013, by the EFCC operatives. She was arrested and detained for days. When she was eventually released, she approached the Court, to challenge the gross illegality of her dismissal and criminal intimidation of her person. The matter is still in court.
Since leaving EFCC about two years ago, Ibekaku had long joined politics and contested as Deputy gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the April 11 gubernatorial election in Enugu State, a situation that many see as making the disclaimer suspicious.
Also affected by the disclaimer is a former investigation officer with the Commission, Michael Nzekwe, who was allegedly dismissed for his knowledge and attempt to raise a query in a case of alleged bribery in the Pension scam case by one detective Aliyu Habibu Adamu and his brother-in-law, the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde.
Nzekwe had dragged the Commission to Court and petitioned the authorities over wanton corruption and bribery in EFCC and “wrongful dismissal on account of my knowledge of a case of abuse of office, extortion, bribery in the Pension scam.”

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