President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to sack the current chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde.
The call was made by a coalition of over 20 Civil Society Organisations protesting under the banner of Coalition of Civil Liberties and Equity (CCLE). The group which stormed the commission’s headquarters to register their displeasure over the way anti-corruption war was being waged, alleged that the EFCC under Lamorde had been compromised by a powerful cabal made up of politicians.
The group led by Mr. Stanley Onukwufor besieged the EFCC headquarters carrying placards with various inscriptions some of which read: “Sack Lamorde now,” “Cabals have hijacked EFCC,” “Buhari merge EFCC, ICPC now,” Lamorde has been compromised”, among others
“We are out to let Nigerians know that we want change in the EFCC. The only thing the EFCC does is to arrest little thieves. What about the former governors who looted the treasuries of their respective states? Why is the EFCC not prosecuting them? Most of these politicians are known to be corrupt. The EFCC takes some of them to court and that is where everything ends. Lamorde must go in order to bring change in the EFCC,” Mr. Onukwufor said.
“We cannot take it again. The EFCC ought to be a good agency. It did well in the past and prosecuted corrupt people. But it has turned into something else. So many things have happened. Things have gone wrong. We have a President who wants change and wants things turned around”, he added.
But in a swift reaction, the EFCC described the protest as misleading and a distraction to the agency. According to the commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, the protesters were hired to distract the EFCC leadership from its ongoing efforts to bring corrupt leaders to justice. “My sincere advice to Nigerians is to ignore these so-called CSOs. We should not allow a group of misguided elements to assault our collective sensibilities with a choreographed protest paid for by corrupt persons being prosecuted by the EFCC”.
He went further: “The era when Nigerians were easily deceived by rented crowds is over. Any discerning mind could see through the selfish motive of the group. Why is it that they did not see any reason to call for the removal of Lamorde all these years until he moved against their patrons? What is the bias in charging a person indicted by a corruption investigation to court? Instead of visiting the indignity of the spectacle of rented CSOs on the nation, they should go and face their trial in court.”
By Olisemeka Obeche