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Deposed EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde, flies out to treat undisclosed ailment

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Deposed EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde, flies out to treat undisclosed ailment

Deposed EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde, flies out to treat undisclosed ailment
November 19
10:58 2015

·         Pundits allege he travelled to escape Senate probe
·         Festus Keyamo defends client, claims there was no basis for inviting him

Ibrahim Lamorde seemed a parlour pet, a de-fanged Rottweiler, under the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Then Muhammadu Buhari became President and Lamorde grew his fangs back. The erstwhile reticent Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) suddenly became a terror to Nigeria’s worst enemies or looters in power, if you like.
Nobody knew the depth of his impact on the lives of the corrupt but everybody knows that Nigeria’s most deified tin-gods grew so frightened of Lamorde that they constantly scurried from his shadow at every encounter with him.
Beneath their fear of him however subsists an inexorable passion to pull him down and destroy him and Lamorde was cognizant of this fact; hence no sooner did he get sacked by President Buhari than Lamorde did the unthinkable: he scurried abroad for treatment of an undisclosed ailment. In other words, the former EFCC chairman has taken to his heels, according to political pundits.
This raises the question about Nigerian public officers’ penchant for developing terminal or ‘undisclosed’ ailments every time they are relieved of their public positions. Suddenly, they usually need to travel abroad to get the best medical care in order to save their oft ‘endangered lives.’
Lamorde, who was scheduled to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions two days ago, failed to honour the invitation provoking wild insinuation that he had fled the country to evade Senate probe of the alleged diversion of N1 trillion leveled against him. So doing, Lamorde has joined the increasing list of former public officers – including Diezani Alison-Madueke, Kingsley Kuku – who conveniently fall sick and travel out to treat often deadly ailments immediately they are sacked or booted from office.
An activist, Dr. George Ubah, had written a petition to the Senate claiming that Lamorde in his capacity as the EFCC Chairman diverted over N1 trillion recovered by the commission.
Lagos lawyer Festus Keyamo, who stood in for Lamorde, however, defended him thus: “He (Lamorde) is still a policeman, he has no reason to go on exile. Lamorde has served this country very well and let me tell you this if you don’t know. The only way to succeed as the chairman of EFCC is for you not to succeed at all.“Lamorde is not here today, not out of disrespect to the committee. It is a matter of complete misunderstanding of issues at stake. When Lamorde was invited to this committee, he was invited as chairman of EFCC and between then and now circumstances had changed.
“He is no longer the chairman of EFCC. So, because of that, he thought that would be the end of his invitation because he was invited in that capacity. He then handed over the case and traveled for medicals. It was in his absence that the second letter came and addressed as the immediate past EFCC chairman. The fact that he is no longer the chairman, he can no longer be invited except as a witness.”
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, in response, noted that the Senate does not accept representation when it invites anybody to appear before it. Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who is also a member of the committee, said: “We are in a situation whereby people are showing their shamelessness.” Alasoadura queried the capacity in which Keyamo was in the Senate being a lawyer to the EFCC “and the man he claimed to represent is no longer in office as chairman.”
The Chairman of the committee subsequently stopped Keyamo half way through his presentation, insisting that anybody could be invited by the Senate panel to come and give evidence. Consequently, Keyamo and members of the committee engaged each other in a hot exchange at the end of which Anyanwu insisted that Lamorde should make himself available on November 24 notwithstanding the plea by Keyamo that his client would not be available until December 15.

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