EFCC confirms death of former Chairman

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed the death of its former Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde.

A statement by the commission’s spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, disclosed that Lamorde died at the age of 61, while receiving medical treatment in Egypt.

The commission expressed shock over the death.

“He will be sorely missed both at the EFCC and the nation at large. The commission prays for the repose of his soul and comfort for his family, the EFCC and the entire nation,” the statement said.

Lamorde was a senior police officer and the pioneer director of operations at the  EFCC when it was created in 2003.

He also served as acting chairman of the commission.

After serving as acting chairman in 2011, he was confirmed by the Senate as substantive Chairman in 2012 under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The statement confirming his death noted that he actively served Nigeria as a gallant anti-graft fighter.

The ICIR reports that Lamorde’s tenure as the EFCC chairman was characterised by controversies.

Lamorde’s controversial tenure

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Shortly before he was replaced as EFCC chairman, he was investigated by the Senate for diverting N1 trillion which were proceeds of assets and cash recovered by the commission.

Some of the funds he was accused of diverting include those recovered from former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tafa Balogun and former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, among others.

Lamorde, however, denied all corruption charges against him and described them as smear campaign which should not be taken seriously.

He insisted that the EFCC had not recovered assets worth N1 trillion in the period under review, and he could, therefore, not divert funds that were not in the agency’s possession.

A statement by the EFCC in 2015 also described the allegations as unfounded, and accused the senator who petitioned Lamorde at the time, George Uboh, of maligning the EFCC leadership.

The commission also claimed that the senator was misrepresenting issues that took place before Lamorde became the EFCC chairman.

Lamorde was replaced by Ibrahim Magu in 2015.




     

     

    However, the Senate ordered his arrest in 2016 for repeatedly refusing to appear before its investigative panel.

    On one occasion, Lamorde was represented at the Senate by his lawyer Festus Keyamo, who is now Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, but the Senate insisted that he personally appear before the panel.

    Despite the order for his arrest, Lamorde was sent by the Nigeria Police Force to begin a course for senior police officers at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in 2016.

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    In the same year, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Senate to desist from further investigating the ex-EFCC boss.

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    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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