24 November 2011

Nigeria: Ibrahim Lamorde - New Czar On EFCC's Block

At a time, he was the dreaded Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's director of operations. But a major change occurred yesterday in his career trajectory. Against the background of intense intrigues churning the nation's premier anti-graft agency, the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim luck Jonathan, yesterday, to replace Mrs. Farida Waziri as the commission's new chairman provides little surprise.

Lamorde's return is actually the second time he is mounting the saddle. Following Ribadu's forced leave for a one-year senior executive course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, Lamorde was appointed the acting executive chairman of EFCC through an announcement from the presidency in January 2008. He held this position until Waziri was appointed substantive chairman of the agency.

An assistant commissioner of police (ACP), Lamorde, 48, has over 22 years' continuous training and experience in policing and management. He joined the Nigeria Police in 1986, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in 1984.

He served at the Niger State Police Command in Minna between 1987 and 1988. He was also a divisional crime officer (DCO) in Rijau, Niger State, between 1988 and 1989, and served as police public relations officer (PPRO), Niger State command, for four years.

The new EFCC czar was a pioneer officer of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police created in 1993. Lamorde served in the premier anti-419 corps of the Nigeria Police until 2002. While still an officer of the SFU, he was deployed as chief investigation officer of Ermera District of East Timor of the United Nations Civilian Police where he served between 2000 and 2001.

He was briefly divisional police officer, Ojo, Ibadan, Oyo State and was later deployed to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, from where he was seconded as a pioneer officer and director of operations of the EFCC. In the global pursuit of criminals, Lamorde has worked effectively with other government law enforcement agencies around the world, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Metropolitan Police, US Postal Inspection Services (USPIS), Internet Crime Complaints Centre (IC3), the Dutch Police, German Police and the South African Police, inter alia.

In December 2010, Lamorde replaced Stephen Otitoju, who was acting director of operations since Tunde Ogunshakin was redeployed by the Nigeria Police in 2009 following disagreements with his principal, Waziri.

A member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Lamorde has attended several international training programmes, seminars and workshops where he delivered papers on Nigeria's fight against corruption, advance fee fraud and other forms of economic and financial crimes. He also attended the Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies course at the Harvard University in 2005.

There are speculations that the choice of Lamorde was made to add a bite to the allegedly waning anti-graft crusade, a position apparently reinforced by his accomplishment as the agency's director of operations under Nuhu Ribadu.

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