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Senate resumes probe of Lamorde over alleged N1trn fraud

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh and Abosede Musari (Abuja)   |   03 November 2015   |   4:13 am  
Lamorde

Lamorde

* EFCC declares Maina wanted • How Goje allegedly forged House resolution to obtain N5 billion

THE Senate will next week resume investigation of the alleged N1 trillion fraud against the Chairman of the Economic ‎and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde.

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions which is investigating the matter disclosed Monday that the ministerial screening exercise was what delayed the investigation.

In another development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has declared the Chairman of defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina wanted.

Spokesman to the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, in a text message to The Guardian last night stated that, “EFCC declares Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of Pension Task Team, wanted”.

Also, it was revealed yesterday before a Federal High Court in Gombe, Gombe State, how former governor, and now a serving senator, Danjuma Goje allegedly forged the resolution of the State House of Assembly to obtain a N5 billion loan.

In a statement sent to The Guardian by Uwujaren, Goje is alleged to have collected the said facility from a new generation bank.

Chairman of the Senate committee, Senator Sam Anyanwu, also dropped the hint that Lamorde would be re-invited to appear before the committee to respond to the allegation which the petitioner, George Uboh, had presented and defended before the committee.

Uboh had alleged that the Lamorde led EFCC diverted some recovered stolen funds amounting to N1.326 trillion to the treasury.

Uboh had told the Senate that: ‎”In a December 02, 2011 a 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 EFCC’s claim that it did not recover up to a Trillion is complete false.”

The committee had walked out representatives of the EFCC led by the Director of Legal Services, Mr. Chile Okoroma, who appeared before it to defend Lamorde before the investigation was adjourned last August.

According to Uwujaren, the witness, Shehu Mohammed Atiku told the court: “My Lord, the said resolution did not emanate from the Gombe State House of Assembly and I was not a signatory to it”. Atiku is a former Clerk of the Gombe State House of Assembly and one of the three witnesses called by prosecuting counsel, Wahab Shitu.

Atiku, while testifying told the court that, “as the Admin Officer of the House, I chair management committee of the House, keep the record of House proceedings and maintain its records”.

However, the court had to cut short the proceeding and adjourn for further hearing owing to the fracas that ensued as suspected political thugs invaded the court premises and disrupted the proceedings.

The thugs also launched attack on the accused persons and others outside the court premises during which the second accused person, Aliyu El-Nafarty and one other person were seriously wounded.

Uwujaren informed that in the melee, vehicles were vandalized including that of the defence counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN.

“The attack forced the presiding judge, Justice B. O. Quadri to adjourn to November 25, 2015”.

“Justice Quadir condemned the attack and directed both counsel to do a report on what happened which he promised to forward to the Chief Judge, Federal High Court for necessary action”, Uwujaren informed.
Goje, alongside four other accused persons are being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges of conspiracy, money laundering and embezzlement of funds belonging to the state government.

Uboh’s petition titled “Petition against Ibrahim Lamorde, Chairman EFCC for various fraudulent acts/omissions amounting to over one trillion naira”, contained the following allegations that he , among others, operates accounts in banks to warehouse recovered funds, which do not reflect in EFCC’s audited accounts;EFCC doctors and manipulates bank accounts to conceal diversion of funds; EFCC releases recovered funds to unidentified persons and EFCC officials; EFCC moves funds from its recovery accounts to EFCC operations accounts from where it diverts same ;over 95% of EFCC’s recoveries in foreign currencies, other than those from multinational companies, have been diverted and that Lamorde and his cronies be prosecuted via the aforementioned criminal indictment and some more charges to be unearthed.



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