Some staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are calling for the head of the Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Lamorde who they are accusing of betrayal of trust.
A petition addressed to President Buhari and dated the 7th of October accused Mr. Lamorde of “impunity, screening of offenders, aiding and abetting of criminals, interfering with criminal investigations, and stealing.”
The petition contained details of some of the cases bungled by the commission and prayed the President to constitute a body of credible men from relevant agencies to take a second look at those cases in order to ascertain the validity of their claim that the commission under Mr. Lamorde became a clearing house, of some sort, for corruption.
A case in hand among many others according to the petition is the matter involving a certain John Ibitoye who was arrested by the NDLEA in Lagos with over $2m. NDLEA transferred the case to EFCC.
“However, few days after the transfer of the case to EFCC, a written statement by the current acting executive secretary NHIS who claimed to be the rightful owner of the money was forwarded to Lagos office from the Executive Chairman’s office instructing the Head of operations Lagos to release the money to him without further delay despite the fact that he is a civil servant no investigation as carried out to authenticate the source of the money.”
The petitioners also mentioned a corrupt collaboration between the former Comptroller General of Customs, Abdulahi Dikko, and the Chairman of EFCC to “milk the country dry.”
They urged the President to thoroughly investigate Mr. Lamorde’s tenure as Chairman of the anti-graft body and also ask questions about the unpaid allowances due to the staff of the commission despite provisions made for such payments.
It would be recalled that last July, a similar petition against Mr. Lamorde was sent to the Senate by George Uboh, a security expert, alleging that the EFCC boss had fraudulently diverted over N1 trillion proceeds of corruption recovered by the agency.
Mr. Uboh had offered to provide proof of his allegations which will certainly shock who believe that the EFCC Chairman was anything near upright.
Mr. Lamorde did not appear before the committee set by the senate but took to the press to discredit the petition which accused his among other things of diverting properties seized from convicted fraudsters to personal use through his younger brother as a front.
Find the full letter by the EFCC staff against Mr. Lamorde below
October 7th, 2015
The President Muhammadu Buhari
State House, Office of the President,
Aso Rock Villa, Three Arms Zone,
PETITION AGAINST COMMISSIONER OF POLICE IBRAHIM LAMORDE THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC) FOR IMPUNITY, SCREENING OF OFFENDERS, AIDING AND ABETTING OF CRIMINALS, INTERFERING WITH CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND STEALING.
Sir, with humility and respect to your person and the exalted office you are occupying I write this petition to bring to your knowledge the nefarious activities of Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde the Executive Chairman of EFCC. I consider this a necessity and a civic duty on my side as a patriotic citizen of this country who on many occasions since the emergence of the said Ibrahim Lamorde as the Chairman EFCC have been observing with keen eyes things happening the wrong way.
EFCC was created with a view to sanitising the nation from the menace of Economic and financial crimes and their perpetrators who indulge in criminal activities like Advance Fee Fraud (419) and other related offences. However under the leadership of Ibrahim Lamorde, EFCC have become a haven for criminals who know their ways around the system, a common term used by the criminals when they come across an uncompromising young officer. COMPROMISE and SABOTAGE of cases and dashing out orders through mobile phones become the order of the day. A bunch of Police officers whom were sent back to the police by the former chairman were brought back to do the chairman’s dirty jobs, and they were placed in strategic positions while they were being assigned cases involving large amount of money or cases involving politically exposed persons because they are considered juicy. Without mincing words, such Officers include CSP Bello Yahaya (Economic Governance Abuja), SP Mohammed Baba Azare (Head Counter Terrorism and General Investigation Abuja), CSP Suleiman Abdu (Head ISOS Abuja), Ibrahim Yidi (Head Subsidy investigation; now extractive industry investigation Unit). The most annoying issue is that the corruption in EFCC does not only stop with the Police officers seconded to the Commission, but it has spread like wildfire among the core staff. In fact the rumor going round among the staffs is that in the whole of Extractive industry unit, it is only one Shehu Ala that was not compromised.
The Executive Chairman since his assumption of office in November, 2011, has been running the Commission like a personal estate. He displays high level of impunity in dealing with staff matters and day to day running of the offices of the Commission. Staff welfare was totally relegated to the backyard thereby exposing them to unnecessary pressure and making them susceptible to corruption as their only way out since their allowance are not paid and they will find it difficult to be able to meet their needs.
Corruption and corrupt acts are not only tolerated but also celebrated under Ibrahim Lamorde. One is free to do whatever he wants to as long as he belongs to the clique. There is no reward for hard work and no punishment for wrong-doing.
The Executive Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde has crippled the Commission to the extent that Operatives of the Commission have to use their personal money to buy stationery for official day to day work in their various offices especially Abuja Office, and this practice have been on-going for the past one year and he has converted monies budgeted for that purpose to his personal use.
The Executive Chairman Sir, since his assumption of Office in November, 2011 has never paid the staff allowance which form part of the Commission consolidated salary structure duly approved by the Salaries and wages Commission and this have bring untold hardship to the staff and exposed them to the potential danger of engaging in corrupt practices.
The Chairman also engaged in award of contracts without following due process in violation of the public procurement Act 2007. One of the contracts awarded by Lamorde without following due process is the contract for the construction of block of offices at the Commission Port Harcourt Zonal Office in which the contract was awarded without competitive bidding and the total sum for the contract was paid upfront to the contractor in gross violation of the provision of the law.
Ibrahim Lamorde has perfected his act and mastered evading public glare by always giving the public a show with press release of arrests and showmanship arraignment of alleged suspects to swing public opinion in his favour while high level horse trading has been taking place underground and serious compromise and sabotage have been perpetrated by him and his cohorts which at the end of the day huge amount of money exchange hands in hard currency (United State Dollars).Based on this it is only few EFCC high profile cases that see the light of the day because they have been compromised, evidence destroyed and witnesses intimidated, while cases with no significant public interest are traded to the highest bidder (complainant or suspect). This is why even in cases of Advance Fee Fraud only a quarter of the suspects arrested got to see the inside of a courtroom (be arraigned for trial), and even those ones are those unfortunate not to have the connection to get to the Chairman who will likely (as in most cases)give an instruction for the case to be KEPT IN VIEW (a police term used to denote to an instruction to abandon cases without recourse to the fate of the complainant or the level of damage the action of the fraudsters is doing to the reputation and image of our dear country Nigeria.
This impunity is going on everyday even in cases reported to or forwarded to the Commission by other sister agencies like DSS and NIA where in most cases the complainants are foreign nationals who submitted their petitions through the Nigerian embassy in their respective countries. The only instance that these type of petitions will be given due attention is when the foreigners’ national embassy in Nigeria is involved that is when you will see on electronic and print media that monies are being returned to some foreign nationals,otherwise the suspect when arrested will buy his way out of the Commission by trading to them part of the proceeds of the crime.
Sir, I will give a summary of some of the cases compromised and my humble suggestion is The President should constitute a committee of experts from the law enforcement and intelligence circle with proven integrity to look into the cases once again with a view to finding out if the cases have been compromised or not and if found to be so, the investigating officers also be investigated for complicity in the compromise.
A case involving a former principal of a Federal Government College in Benue State in which in gross violation of Public Procurement Act. 2007, awarded several contracts to a non-existing company and converted the monies in hundreds of millions to his personal use. The case was handled by one Musa GiwaYusuf in Enugu zonal office and his team leader one Mr. Collins and the Head of operations of the zone collected bribe and tried to compromise the case. When the investigating officer tried to resist them and reported the matter to the Directorate of Internal Affairs, he was queried and his promotion withheld and made to face a disciplinary committee, it took the intervention of the Commission Secretary at the committee after hearing his case before he was let go and his promotion released and the case was never investigated further or charges filed in court while Musa Giwa Yusuf was transferred out of the zone to Lagos.
Two cases of criminal breach of trust and issuance of dud cheques against one Alhaji Ahmed Tijjani reported by Safiyanu Marafa and Alhaji Musa Aliyu at the KanoZonal office involving the sum of about
N200,000,000.00 which was handled by one Abubakar Abdulkarim and Opem Sunday respectively. While the case handled by Abubakar was diligently investigated and case filed in court, the one handled by Opem Sunday was compromised by the investigation team for reason best known to them. The Executive Chairman called for the cases and the investigation team and convened a meeting with the suspect in Abuja where after the meeting he instructed the Head of operations Kano not to prosecute the case and the case was kept under view until last month September when he instructed the head of Operations Kano to declare the suspect Alhaji Ahmed Tijjani wanted.
Another case of criminal breach of trust and issuance of N20,000,000.00 against the same Alhaji Ahmed Tijjaniwho has become a notorious fraudster who has even become more notorious under Ibrahim Lamorde protection. The case was investigated by EG Team C Headed by Nabil Tahir and the investigating team were stopped by the executive Chairman from prosecuting the case despite overwhelming evidences against him.
It is worthy to note that Alhaji Ahmed Tijjani has several cases in both Kano Office of the Commission and Abuja Office yet Ibrahim Lamorde did not only shield him from prosecution, he constitute a special team or him domiciled in the FCDA office of the Commission to pursue his frivolous petitions for him. It was ony early this month when Ibrahim Lamorde understanding that under President Muhammadu Buhari business cannot continue as usual that he instructed the Zonal Head Kano to declare Alhaji Ahmed Tijjani wanted despite the fact that they have close relationship and he can call him to his office and get him arrested if he is really serious about it.
The case of Criminal breach of trust, obtaining money under false pretences, forgery and international fund transfer fraud against Saminu Shiek Umar Taambu Abdullahi and Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Maiturare which was reported to the Commission by one Mathias Heea Swiss National through The Nigerian Embassy in Switzerland which was forwarded to the Commission by Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the National Security Adviser (NSA) was also copied. The suspects Saminu Shiek Umar Taambu Abdullahi presented himself to Mr Mathias Hee a textile manufacturer in Switzerland as Special Assistant to the then Executive Governor of Kano State and also informed him that the governor is interested in buying textile materials from him worth millions of dollars. Under false pretence he signed several agreements with the complainant and obtained goods worth 1,000,000.00 United States of America dollars. In the course of investigation some of the textiles materials obtained under false pretence were traced to his shop and eight vehicles acquired by the complainant were confiscated and a valid court order was obtained for their interim forfeiture. However after the suspect meeting with the chairman of EFCC, he called the Head of Operations Kano and instructed him to release the textile materials and the vehicles to the suspect despite the fact that he has been informed through the investigation report sent to him that the textile materials are the goods directly obtained from the complainant under false pretences and the vehicles were purchased from the proceeds of the crime. The goods were subsequently released on the Executive Chairman despite resistance and protest from the investigating officer one Ahmad Sagir who openly displayed his displeasure with the move and termed it as injustice.
All cases of oil bunkering transferred to the Commission by the Military or NSCDC mostly handled by the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the Commission whether under investigation or concluded as it is the practice in the Commission under Ibrahim Lamorde to release the major culprits i.e. the vessel and the truck owners who are involve in the bunkering and the loaders and the drivers who are ordinary workers are prosecuted and convicted.
It is also prayed that the Committee should look into the disposals of confiscated vessels and trucks confiscated from bunkerers in the Port Harcourt Zonal office which ordinarily are supposed to be auctioned and the proceeds remitted into the consolidated revenue account.
A case of oil bunkering around Gwagwalada axis involving an assistant Commissioner of Police which was investigated by CTGI section specifically by one SP Mailafiya Yakubu team in which the Assistant Commissioner of Police was shielded and a DSP of police was sacrificed and is currently being prosecuted along with the bunkerers at the Federal High Court 8 Abuja before Justice E. S. Chukwu.
A case of criminal breach of trust involving on polar reported Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital which was investigated by Banking Fraud Team NFI headed by Haruna Sambo which was filed in Kaduna State High Court but Ibrahim Lamorde instructed that the case be withdrawn and same was withdrawn despite protest from the legal officer handling the case Aisha T. Habib.
Sir the Executive Chairman in connivance with the former Comptroller General Nigeria Customs Service have been milking the country dry through their dubious means and enriching themselves in a grand conspiracy they called joint task force. Rumour circulating in the Commission is that the head of the customs is the one giving Ibrahim Lamorde money for the running of the Commission despite the fact that there is budgetary allocation to that effect which he stole and converted it to his personal use.
Sir, there is a particular joint task force team constituted by Ibrahim Lamorde and Dikko Inde for revenue recovery in Kano axis and a team of EFCC and Customs was constituted. When the team commences work they discovered that the business men and women whom they visited are being subjected to double taxation because they will show them a receipt issued to them by a clearing agent, on further investigation they discovered that no penny was paid into the government coffer this makes them beam their search light on the agent who was issuing the receipt and a report was written to the Executive Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde. However instead of commendation and encouragement for uncovering the monumental fraud, instead he and the Director of Operations Olaolu Adegbite accused the team of high handedness and overstepping their boundary and the team was immediately disbanded and replaced by another team headed by one Mr. Shazali whom they believe will do their bidding and the investigation case files were confiscated from the first team. The new constituted team continue with the extortion until when Col. Hameed Ali was announced as Comptroller General Customs before they were disbanded.
The case of one John Ibiteye arrested by NDLEA in Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos travelling to Abuja with 2,198,900.00 United State of America Dollar, after preliminary investigation, NDLEA transferred the case to EFCC Lagos office. However, few days after the transfer of the case to EFCC, a written statement by the current acting executive secretary NHIS who claimed to be the rightful owner of the money was forwarded to Lagos office from the Executive Chairman’s office instructing the Head of operations Lagos to release the money to him without further delay despite the fact that he is a civil servant no investigation was carried out to authenticate the source of the money.
A case involving the Accountant General of Kebbi state which was initiated by the Kano Zonal Office of the Commission and was later transferred to Abuja on the instruction of the Executive Chairman, several accomplice and conspirators were left of the hook which include the former Governor Dakingari and his younger brother who the investigation alleged that he is dead. Thee accountant general was subsequently charged alone before Kebbi State High Court on some useless charges that will never see the light of the day.
After the assumption of office of Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, he created a directorate called Directorate of Internal Affairs (DIA) and assigned one of the most corrupt police officers in the Commission in person of DCP Mohnammed Wakili with the responsibility of heading the directorate. The directorate was created to handle matters of internal discipline and corruption cases among staff of the Commission, without mincing word one can clearly say that the directorate is the opposite of what it was created to do as the Head Mohaammed Wakili is a known notorious fraudster who under his stewardship as the Head Banking Fraud in Lagos and Head of operations Kano many cases were compromised. Instead of doing what the directorate was set out to do, they are protecting and shielding the corrupt while the whistle-blowers are penalised under the pretext of raising false alarm or supplying false information. Typical of those cases is the case of an officer called Musa Giwa who was queried and his promotion withheld for daring to challenge the status quo. One of the pathetic case of condoning corruption is the case of one Alice Bulus Nkwariza who was involved in several cases of corruption, bribe taking and the worst of it all was she connived with a suspect and his lawyer and smuggled a forged document into a file. She was on several occasions investigated by the DIA but she was left off the hook for reason best known to them.
Cases of this nature are endless Sir, we believe it is in the best interest of justice that Mr Ibrahim Lamorde be thoroughly investigated for complicity in some of the cases that have been compromised under his watch, for all the six zonal heads to be investigated and also general staff of the Commission be subjected to investigation and additional vetting for the bad eggs to be flushed out of the system so that sanity can be restored in the system for the betterment of our country Nigeria. It also important that the issue of staff welfare be look into, issue of unpaid allowance from 2011 under Ibrahim Lamorde be revisited and anomalies corrected for the officers to be motivated to do their job and leave above board.
While I wish you great success in your tenure as the President of our great country Nigeria and pray to almighty Allah to grant you the wisdom and the will power to restore Nigeria’s tattered image and dignity so that during your time we will take our rightful place in the world.
Concerned Staffs of EFCC.
National Security Advisor
President of the Senate Federal Republic of Nigeria
Speaker House of Representative Federal Republic of Nigeria
Director General State Security Service