EFCC Reform: Lamorde Has Delivered on Promises,Says Spokesman

EFCC Spokesman addressing journalistsThe Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde has delivered on his promise to re- professionalise the anti-graft agency in its fight against economic and financial crimes in the country. This assertion was made today by Wilson Uwujaren, head, media and publicity of the Commission during a media briefing with journalists. Uwujaren stated that Lamorde’s promise to tackle issues of integrity and professionalism in the Commission has been accomplished with the acquisition of Polygraph machine and training of personnel to manage it.

“One of the strategies which he promised to deploy in tackling the issue of integrity was the introduction of polygraph test for officers and new employees. As we speak, the Commission now has state-of-the-art polygraph equipment with a crop of polygraph examiners trained at the American International Institute of Polygraph in Atlanta, Georgia, United State.” He added:  “New and old staff of the Commission are now regularly subjected to polygraph test in a determined effort to ensure that they do not deviate from the core values of the Commission, which are courage, professionalism and integrity.”

According to him, the acquisitions of the Polygraph equipment and examiners have made the Commission the only law enforcement agency in entire West Africa with such competence.

Uwujaren also highlighted some of the efforts of the Commission in the fight against economic and financial crimes in the country.  According to him, the Commission is unrelenting in dealing with oil theft as more persons have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted. “A few months ago, two Indians, Sailesh Kumor Singh, Chadrashekar Sharma were jailed after successful prosecution by the Commission. The duo were among 12 suspected oil thieves arrested in Brass, Bayelsa State in 2012 by the JTF with 157,822 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.”  The two Indians bagged 15 years jail term. Beside that, a total of 71 persons have been convicted for oil theft which include 45 Nigerians, 10 Ghanaians, 13 Pilipinos, three Indians, two Togolese, one Camerounian and one Myanmar.

In the ongoing oil subsidy cases, Uwujaren stated that one of the major kingpins, Seun Ogunbambo, managing director of Fargo Energy Limited who was docked for allegedly stealing N4.5 billion in bogus subsidy claims has absconded and disappeared from the shores of Nigeria and has consequently been declared wanted.  Also, one Azmat Mahmood, a German citizen of Pakistani extraction has also been declared wanted after allegedly using his company Nimex Petroleum Limited to defraud the federal government of over N1.3 billion in a bogus subsidy deal.  However, he noted, the Commission has so far recovered over $5 billion from persons implicated in subsidy scam while prosecution of over 40 persons continue in courts across the country.

Significantly, Uwujaren bemoaned the growing incidence of impersonation of EFCC officials by fraudsters; a situation which he says has created the erroneous impression of corruption among EFCC personnel. However, he expressed his delight with the recent arrest of one Olubunmo Olalekan, who paraded himself as Principal Detective Superintendent of the EFCC. He explained that the suspect has couriered over sixty letters to different top officials of ministries, department and agencies of government under the pretence that there was a petition against them, and that he could help them destroy the case if they play ball. At the time of arrest, over the suspect was found with fake letter head papers, 30 GSM sim cards, assorted complimentary cards, a laptop computer and printer from where he churns out the fraudulent letters. He said the suspect will soon be arraigned in court.

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