Ibrahim Lamorde, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was removed from his position yesterday, November 9.
A statement by Femi Adeshina, the special adviser on media and publicity to the president read: Mr. Magu, who is an Assistant Commissioner of Police, is to take over from Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, who is proceeding on terminal leave ahead of the formal expiration of his tenure in February, next year.
A source, who spoke in confidence with The Nation gave some reasons why Lamorde was sacked.
According to the source, he was removed following some allegations against him and security report.
“The Senate is looking into alleged mismanagement of N1.3trillion recovered by the anti-graft agency. The Presidency was uncomfortable with some disclosures by the petitioner, George Uboh.
“While the government does not want to tamper with the ongoing probe by the Senate, it believes it is untidy to allow the EFCC chairman to be rubbished. It is better for Lamorde to step aside,” he said.
It was learnt that another factor responsible for his removal was a security report on his alleged relationship with some former officials of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Report has it that the presidency was angry the EFCC did not take action on former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke until the National Crimes Agency in the United Kingdom invited her for questioning.
Also, the anti-graft commission was said to have been slow in handling the investigation of former Akwa Ibom state governor, Godswill Akpabio when sister agencies raised the alarm.
Akpabio led the PDP Caucus in the Senate to defend Lamorde when the allegation of N1.3trillion fraud was made.
The EFCC has battled in the last few months to protect its image and that of Lamorde, following a petition by George Uboh, who accused the EFCC boss of diverting N1 trillion worth of recovered loot.
Uboh insisted that Lamorde “must step aside during the pendency of the investigation by the commission.”
As part of the security report, a petition by a lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong to President Muhammadu Buhari was also said to have triggered Lamorde’s exit.
The federal government through the Ministry of Justice directed that Lamorde be investigated over allegation of money diversion.
Last week, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu said the Senate will continue Lamorde’s investigation this week.
However, on Monday, November 9, the committee announced the indefinite postponement of Lamorde’s probe. No reason was given for the sudden postponement of the investigation that was scheduled to hold today, November 10.