|Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde|
Over 20 Civil Society Organisations on Tuesday barricaded the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja, calling for the sacking of its chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde.
The CSOs, under the aegis of the Coalition of Civil Liberties and Equity, besieged the Abuja office of EFCC, alleging that the commission had been compromised by a powerful cabal made up of politicians.
The coalition, therefore, advised that for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to successfully tackle corruption in Nigeria, there was a need to sack Lamorde.
Some of the placards carried by the protesters read: “Sack Lamorde now,” “Cabals have hijacked EFCC,” “Buhari merge EFCC, ICPC now,” Lamorde has been compromised”, among others.
The leader of the protesters, Stanley Onukwufor, expressed disappointment in Lamorde.
He said, “We cannot take it again. The EFCC ought to be a good agency. It did well in the past and prosecuted corrupt people. But it has turned into something else. So many things have happened. Things have gone wrong. We have a President who wants change and wants things turned around.
“We are out to let Nigerians know that we want change in the EFCC. The only thing the EFCC does is to arrest little thieves. What about the former governors who looted the treasuries of their respective states? Why is the EFCC not prosecuting them? Most of these politicians are known to be corrupt. The EFCC takes some of them to court and that is where everything ends. Lamorde must go in order to bring change in the EFCC.”
But the spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, described the protesters as a group which wanted to mislead Nigerians and distract the agency.
He said, “My sincere advice to Nigerians is to ignore these so-called CSOs. We should not allow a group of misguided elements to assault our collective sensibilities with a choreographed protest paid for by corrupt persons being prosecuted by the EFCC.
“The era when Nigerians were easily deceived by rented crowds is over. Any discerning mind could see through the selfish motive of the group. Why is it that they did not see any reason to call for the removal of Lamorde all these years until he moved against their patrons? What is the bias in charging a person indicted by a corruption investigation to court? Instead of visiting the indignity of the spectacle of rented CSOs on the nation, they should go and face their trial in court.”