Non-remittance of cash alleged
Where is the N1trillion forfeited cash with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)? Has the cash been remitted into government coffers? Was it diverted? These were some of the posers raised by the House of Representatives yesterday following a motion moved by Minority Leader Leo Ogor. Ogor is seeking an investigation into the whereabouts of the recovered loot in line with the war against corruption. A businessman, George Uboh, had petitioned the Federal Ministry of Justice on the matter, accusing EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde of diverting the cash.
The ministry has directed EFCC to probe its chairman based on Uboh’s petition.
At plenary yesterday, the House directed its Committee on Financial Crimes to investigate the alleged non-remittance of the funds by EFCC.
The lawmakers also urged the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, to re-assign the investigation of Uboh’s petition to either the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) or the Police.
Moving the motion titled: “Urgent need to investigate the non-remittance of court-ordered forfeited funds and properties by the EFCC into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and for other related matters”, Ogor opposed the Solicitor-General’s directive that EFCC should investigate Lamorde.
According to him, Section 88(i) of the 1999 Constitution confers powers on the House to investigate the diversion of funds by Lamorde and other past EFCC chairmen.
He said there was a subsisting petition by Uboh against the present and past EFCC leaders on alleged funds diversion, noting that the House “should thoroughly investigate the allegation of diversion of this huge sums of monies -trillion of naira; other members of staff of the EFCC must be investigated.”
Ogor added: “The EFCC is not the only agency of government charged with investigations that border on diversion of funds by public officers; the EFCC itself cannot be a judge in its own case.”
Funds worth billions of naira, he said, should have been paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation as stipulated under Section 31(2, 3) of the EFCC establishment Act of 2004.
In the wake of Uboh’s allegation, the EFCC commissioned KPMG to audit its financial accounts.
The issue is also before the Senate and the audit report is expected to be laid before the Senator Samuel Anyanwu-led Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions