President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sacked Mr Ibrahim Larmode as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was immediately replaced with Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in the Governance Unit of the Commission who is now the Acting Chairman of EFCC.
A statement signed by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said that Mr. Lamorde “is proceeding on terminal leave ahead of the formal expiration of his tenure in February next year.”
Mr Lamorde took over as the acting chairman of the anti-graft agency on November 23, 2011 after Mrs Farida Waziri was removed as EFCC Chairman by the former President, Goodluck Jonathan. His appointment was later confirmed by the Senate on February 15, 2012
It was gathered that Larmode had met behind closed-doors with President Buhari shortly after the latter inaugurated the new National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and five INEC national commissioners on Monday. It was during the meeting that Buhari reportedly told Lamorde to vacate office as the anti-graft commission’s chair.
The removal of Lamorde as EFCC Chairman is not unconnected with the recent allegations of corruption against him. George Uboh, a security expert recently accused the EFCC boss of allegedly diverting N1trillion in cash and properties said to have been recovered from convicted looters.
Uboh specifically accused Lamorde of diverting proceeds accruable from the sale of properties recovered from a now-late former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyesiegha; and former Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun, among many others.
The Ministry of Justice recently directed the EFCC to probe Lamorde over the allegations but the House of Representatives countered the order and instead said the police and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) should handle the investigation. The ex-EFCC boss is also under probe by the Senate. The upper chamber’s Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions however on Monday announced the indefinite postponement of Lamorde’s probe. The Clerk to the committee, Mr. Freedom Osolo, in a press release in Abuja, failed to give reasons for the postponement.