The Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD) has described the removal of Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday November 9, 2015 as the end of a decadent era in the EFCC.
In a statement issued by its Convener and legal practitioner, Mr. Inibehe Effiong, the human rights group commended the president for the decision which it said was long overdue.
“The President has finally taken the most significant step in furtherance of the anti-corruption mantra and policy of his administration. Ibrahim Lamorde had shamelessly and completely desecrated the EFCC for selfish and unpatriotic aims. Nigerians are very aware of how the Commission was reduced to a toothless bulldog under Lamorde”
“Certain politically exposed Nigerians were protected by Lamorde against the mission of the EFCC and the overall interest of the nation. Of particular note is the case of the former governor of Akwa Ibom State and Minority Leader of the Senate Mr. Godswill Akpabio who was treated by Lamorde as a demi-god that cannot be subjected to probe. Despite the litany of factual and mind blowing petitions sent to the EFCC against the former governor by indigenes of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Lamorde turned a blind eye to the petitions and arrogantly went after the courageous lawyer who wrote the petitions”
“Mr. lawyer, Mr. Leo Ekpenyong, was hunted, harassed and arraigned in court on a trump-up charge of defaming Lamorde. This is just one classic example of gross abuse of office by Lamorde. The only crime of Ekpenyong was that he passed a vote of no confidence on Mr. Lamorde in a letter he wrote to President Buhari”
“We urge the President to sanitize the Commission entirely by removing other staff of the Commission who worked closely with Lamorde to avoid such persons being used by Lamorde and his cronies in the country to undermine the anti-corruption campaign of the President. Lamorde could not have been the only bad egg in the EFCC. Lamorde must now be made to give account of his stewardship. The time for him to account for the over 1 trillion naira worth of funds recovered from corrupt Nigerians is now.”
The group also asked the President to appoint a respectable person to succeed Larmode and also remove the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.
“President Buhari should exude extreme care in appointing a substantive Chairman of the Commission. Whoever will be appointed in replacement should be above board and the corrupting inflence of powerful and corrupt Nigerians.”
“COHRD firmly believes that the current Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, lacks the requisite independence and courage to spearhead the drive of this administration to sterm the tide of impunity and lawlessness in the country. Just like Lamorde, Arase is part of the inglorious remnants of the corrupt administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.”
“We believe the President will see the urgent need to remove Arase.”
“Today is undoubtedly a victorious day for Nigeria. We congratulate the President and Nigerians for the end of a decadent era in the EFCC.”
Inibehe Effiong, Esq.
Convener, Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD)