Leadership (Abuja)

30 May 2008

Nigeria: FG Returns Lamorde to EFCC

The presidency has directed Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde to go back to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as acting chairman of the commission pending the confirmation of Mrs. Farida Waziri as substantive chairman by the Senate.

The inspector-general of police, Sir Mike Okiro, had redeployed Mr. Lamorde to Ningi, Bauchi State, as area commander.

LEADERSHIP gathered last night that Mrs. Waziri had refused to assume office as the new chief executive of the EFCC, in spite of the announcement of her appointment by the Federal Government.

"Mrs Farida Waziri has refused to assume office. She believes that her appointment needs to be confirmed by the Senate, in line with the EFCC Act, before she assumes office," a source from the presidency told our correspondent.

The situation had created a vacuum at the EFCC, a factor which worried the presidency.

"Faced with this challenge, the presidency has recalled Mr. Lamorde back to the EFCC as acting chairman before Mrs. Waziri's issues are sorted out."

The Senate recently declared the appointment of Mrs. Waziri as new EFCC boss by the Federal Government as illegal.

It averred that her appointment ought to have been confirmed by the apex legislative body before her appointment.

The president has since forwarded her name and others to the Senate for confirmation.

Senate President David Mark had directed the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics to find out whether the new EFCC chairman had actually resumed as the chairman of the anti-graft as being speculated in some sections of the media.

The Senate had also raised observations on the language used by the attorney-general of the Federation Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), which according to the Senate president, had created the impression that it was the prerogative of the president to appoint the EFCC chairman and then send the name to the Senate for screening and confirmation.

It was the position of the Senators that such appointment violated the provisions of the 1999 constitution and also erodes the powers of the Senate which is to screen and confirm the nominations of the president before appointments.

The Senate president had also warned senators against being sentimental about the appointment of the EFCC chairman, stressing that the due process of law must be followed in all appointments.

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