After a thorough screening and grilling, the Nigerian Senate this morning confirmed Ibrahim Lamorde as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The confirmation was unanimously approved by members present at the plenary. They agreed Lamorde had “satisfactorily provided answers to questions and issues raised by the lawmakers”.

The lawmakers had expressed their worries over the public perception of the commission as an instrument of witch-hunting in the hand of the president, especially during the era of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Lamorde however maintained that as a concerned anti-corruption agency, it made its observations about the character of some individual known to the government. This, he said was not intended to serve as a ban on such individuals from contesting election.

Questions were raised about the independence of the commission and its leadership since the chairman can be unilaterally removed by the president without consultation with the National Assembly, which is statutorily empowered to confirm the nomination of same.

But the new Chairman pointedly responded that the Commission and its leadership have the required liberty to prosecute the assignment.

He also insisted that there has been no interference of any kind and from any quarter.

While responding to one of the questions, Lamorde agreed that it is true to some extent that there is corruption within the agency.

He also agreed that there is no way an agency like EFCC can perform its work effectively if it officers are perceived as corrupt.

He disclosed that three officers of EFCC have been detained for alleged corruption while two others are being tried for corrupt practices.

He added that the EFCC has put in place different measures to curb corrupt practices within the agency and this include regular investigation of assets of officials of EFCC and use of lie testing machines to test the fidelity of EFCC officers.

He also said EFCC was not involved in the sale of assets of Nwude, the convicted EFCC kingpin, arguing that the assets were forfeited to the Brazilian bank duped by the accused.

Lamorde had served as Director of Operations and Acting Chairman of the agency twice.

A member of the pioneer officers drafted from the Nigeria Police that midwived the EFCC in 2003 under the leadership of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Lamorde was born on the 20th of December, 1962 in Mubi, Adamawa State of Nigeria. Mr. Lamorde took an honours degree from the Ahmadu Bello University in 1984 and enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Officer on 1st January, 1986.

He served as a Divisional Crime Officer 1988 – 1989 and later as a Police Public Relations Officer from 1989 to 1993. In 1993, the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force was created and he was drafted as one of the pioneer officers. He served in the SFU from 1993 to 2002.

While he was with the SFU, he was drafted to serve with the United Nations Civilian Police in East Timor from March 2000 to March 2001.

He also served as the Chief Investigation Officer of Ermera District of East Timor. In September 2002, he was transferred to Oyo State of Nigeria, where he served as Divisional Police Officer, until April 2003.

On the creation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he was seconded to serve as the Director of Operations from April 2003 to December, 2007.

He was appointed the Ag. Chairman of the EFCC in January, 2008 to May, 2008. He was recalled back to the Nigeria Police and posted to the Area Command in Ningi, Bauchi State as the Area Commander from June, 2008 to November 2008.

He was later redeployed to the Bauchi State Police Command, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) as the Officer -in -Charge. In December 2010, he earned a recall to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as Director of Operations.

He held that position until President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him as the Acting. Chairman of the EFCC on Wednesday, November 23, 2011.

Lamorde had also worked closely with other government law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Metropolitan Police, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), United States Secret Service, Internet Crime Complaints Centre (IC3), Dutch Police, German Police, South African Police, etc.

He had supervised the prosecution of 522 Advance Fee Fraud related cases at various High Courts all over Nigeria between April 2003 and June 2008. 253 of the cases were successfully prosecuted and convictions secured, including the extradition of 3 fugitives to the United States.
Mr. Lamorde being the pioneer Director of Operations of EFCC has greatly helped to change public perception of law enforcement, locally and internationally. He has also helped in fostering international law enforcement cooperation in the country.

Lamorde is presently an Assistant Commissioner of Police and is married with children.

Oluokun Ayorinde/Desmond Utomwen/Abuja