EFCC Recovered Over 3trn, Lamorde Stole N2trn, Gave Seized Assets To Brother, Petitioner Tells Senate Committee
SAN FRANCISCO, August 26, (THEWILL) – As the Senate probe of the alleged N1trn diversion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, opened Wednesday, the petitioner, George Uboh, told the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition that the anti-graft agency actually recovered well over N3trillion loot between 2004 and 2011, insisting that the agency must be compelled to return N2.051 to the Federal Government.
Maintaining that the agency must have allegedly defrauded the country to the tune of N2.051trillion from seized properties and funds of individuals under its investigation, Obuh, a convicted credit card fraudster in the United States, further alleged that the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, gave some of the choice properties seized from former Bayelsa State Governor, DSP Alamieyesigha, and others, to Usman Lamorde, his younger brother.
Though Lamorde was absent at the session, Obuh, who backed his allegations with figures, said on naira recoveries alone, “In a December 02, 2011 letter EFCC sent to the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, EFCC stated that the aggregate recoveries from 2004 to 2011 (8 financial years) was N1,326,754,554,482:80. EFCC did not mention where the N1.3 Trillion recovered was remitted to.”
Maintaining that EFCC's claim that it did not recover up to a Trillion Naira is complete false, Obuh gave the breakdown as follows:
According to him, “In EFCC's “Summary Of EFCC Monetary Recoveries 2003-March, 2013” (11 financial years), EFCC stated that the aggregate recoveries for 11 financial years is N497,385,427,485:63; EFCC did not mention where the N497.3 Billion recovered was remitted to, going by the following breakdown-
Insisting that the documents submitted were prepared under Lamorde , Obuh disclosed that total recoveries to be remitted as confirmed by EFCC are 1.995 Trillion + 48.9 Billion + 7.3 Billion + .4 Billion =N 2.051 Trillion, asking “After recovering over 2 trillion, how did the funds melt away?” He also alleged that EFCC under Lamorde also indulges in doctoring of bank accounts and diversion of already seized loots.
According to Obuh, “Two Access Bank recovery account statements tendered herein show opening balances of -0- as of 1, July 2004, but no transaction occurred until June/July 2008 respectively. These transactions are expunged. Where are the funds deposited between July 2004 and June/July, 2008?
“EFCC diverted and concealed N779 Million of recoveries from Tafa Balogun in its record (aggregate should be 3,037,255,521.60 – not 2,258,100,516.98); Instead of transferring N3.3 billion from Spring Bank to its Access Bank recovery account, EFCC transferred only N2.2 billion and concealed it by understating the summation of the balances in the various accounts hence the Access Bank statement had N2.2 Billion after the concealment.
“Access Bank should be compelled to bring complete and unadulterated statements from 2004 till date. Aminu Ibrahim and Co, Auditors, should be compelled to come and shed light on discrepancies in its records and that of the already traced EFCC accounts.”
After Obuh's submissions, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu ( PDP Imo East), promised that the committee will look into the allegations very seriously, saying the allegations are very weighty .
He however maintained that the committee was not out to run anybody or agency down but only on facts -finding mission.
Meanwhile, the committee walked out officials of the EFCC from Wednesday's hearing after the agency's head of legal services, Mr. Chile Okoroma, sought permission to make contributions despite an earlier request by the EFCC through a letter to the committee for an extension of date to appear before the committee.
After hearing the submissions of the petitioner against the EFCC boss, Okoroma and his colleagues spoke to defend Lamorde but things became ugly for them when they identified themselves as EFCC personnel.
This disclosure made the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP Imo East) to walk them out of the session. However, they left the venue, Okoroma spoke without permission, describing the method being adopted by the committee to conduct the public hearing as unjust and contrary to the law, saying ” it is very wrong for a petitioner to be heard publicly in the absence of the person the petition is against.”