A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday summoned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde to appear before it to defend the suit filed against them by Bayelsa State for the return of N1.4 Billion and another 1.3 million USD recovered from a former governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyesiegha.
Yesterday the court’s processes were served on both the commission and its chairman.
In a writ of summons filed by Mr Anthony Agbonlahor, the state is asking the court to declare that the failure of EFCC to remit the complete funds recovered from Alamieyesiegha after he was investigated and prosecuted and “subsequently trading with the funds by way of funds placement/fixed deposits is an act of corruption and an economic crime contrary to sections 6 and 7 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.
The state also asked the court to issue an order to direct the commission to immediately pay the monies with the interest which had accrued on them.
The state asked the court to declare that Lamorde who took part in the investigation and prosecution of Alamieyesiegha should not have allowed the looted funds recovered from the former governor to be traded with.
Bayelsa asked the court to hold that Lamorde was not qualified to continue in office as chairman of EFCC having violated his oath of office.
It further asks the court to order EFCC to pay 21 per cent interest on the N1.4 Billion and the $1.3 million from November 1st, 2013 until judgment was delivered by the court.
The state also asks the court to, “direct EFCC to pay to it $400,000.00 being the amount forfeited by its former governor and which funds had since been repatriated by the United States Government to the EFCC.”
To recover the money from the anti-graft agency, Bayelsa State Government mandated the Chief Executive of Panic Alert Security System, Mr George Uboh.
In line with his mandate, Uboh wrote to the EFCC requesting for the monies to be paid to him within 7 days following which the commission requested him to meet with its staff on 19th December, 2013.
Uboh said that he met with EFCC and the commission asked him for a short time to comply.
He said that as at the beginning of this month, the commission had yet to remit the monies and that the state had instructed that a suit be filed against the commission to recover the monies.
The case has been fixed for April 15th.