The House of Representatives has mandated its Standing Committee on Financial Crimes to investigate the alleged non-remittance of forfeited properties and funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) running into about N1trillion.
The House also resolved that the Solicitor-General of the Federation should re-assign the investigation of the petition of George Uboh against the EFCC to either the ICPC or the Police.
The resolutions followed a motion under matters of national importance sponsored by Hon. Leo Ogor (PDP, Delta) tagged “Urgent Need to Investigate the Non-remittance of Court-forfeited Funds and Properties by the EFCC Into Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and for other Related Matters”.
Ogor in the lead debate, noted that there was a subsisting petition by George Uboh against present and past leaders of the EFCC over diversion of funds that the Senate is currently investigating.
“The past and present leadership of the EFCC is being accused of diversion of funds worth billions of naira meant to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation as stipulated by Section 31 subsection 2 and 3 of the EFCC Act of 2004,” he said.
He further stressed that: “the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Justice has directed the EFCC to investigate the allegation against Ibrahim Lamorde and to forward the result of its investigation to him”.
He also expressed concern that “the EFCC is not the only agency of government charged with investigations that bother on diversion of funds by public officers”.
Ogor said”to thoroughly investigate the allegation of diversion of this huge sum of monies, alleged trillion of naira, other members of staff of the EFCC must be investigated”.
He said” by the powers conferred on the House by Section 88(I) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the House, just like the police and the ICPC can investigate the diversion of funds by Lamorde, past and present leaders of the EFCC”.
After his submission, the presiding officer, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun, put the motion to a voice vote, and it was unanimously supported.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the Ministry of Justice in a directive to the EFCC signed by the Director, Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Muhammad Diri, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary and dated October 8, 2015, had directed the EFCC to investigate the allegation against Lamorde and forward the report of investigation to him “as soon as it is completed.”
The letter addressed to the petitioner with reference number, DPPA/PET/EFCC/006/2008 reads: “I refer to your letter dated the 28th September, 2015, in respect of the above mentioned subject matter.
“I am directed to inform you that your petition has been sent to the EFCC for their response to the allegation contained therein. The commission has been directed by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary to forward the result of its investigation as soon as it is completed. Accept please, the assurances of the highest regards of the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary.”
In line with Civil Service Rules, Lamorde, must step aside during the pendency of the investigation by the Commission as he cannot preside over his own probe. Lamorde’s tenure is due to end by November 11 going by the date of his appointment as acting Chairman but sources close to him said he is not ready to leave until January when his appointment was confirmed by the Senate.
The petitioner, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Panic Alert Security Systems, a security firm, George Uboh, had sent a reminder letter dated September 28, to Yola, with a seven days ultimatum threatening legal actions against the ministry if he failed to respond to his petition.