The Director of Public Prosecution, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Mohammed Diri, has denied signing any letter directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate its Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde.
Diri told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that he did not sign such letter on behalf of the ministry.
He said, “I didn’t sign any document to investigate anybody.”
On whether the ministry was interested in investigating the allegation, Diri said, “I am not competent enough to comment on that.
“The only question I can answer is that I did not sign any paper against the backdrop of the media report.”
In a related development, the ministry’s Spokesman, Mr Charles Nwodo, has also described the media report as ‘erroneous and misleading’.
Nwodo, however, acknowledged that the ministry received a petition against Lamorde and other top EFCC officials on diversion of proceeds of corruption.
He said the ministry forwarded the petition written by one George Uboh, to the EFCC boss for his response “as required by the rules of public service and constitutional right to fair hearing.”
A media report had said that the Federal Government had directed the EFCC to investigate Lamorde for allegedly diverting about one trillion naira proceeds of corruption recovered by the EFCC.
Sequel to the report, the House of Representatives had on Tuesday debated the matter and flawed the procedure that EFCC should investigate its boss while in office.
The Minority Leader of the house, Rep. Leo Ogor, had raised the issue under matters of urgent public importance.
The house had said that money and other recovered assets had been held by the anti-graft agency, as against the requirement of the law that such assets be remitted to government.
It noted that the EFCC could not be a ‘judge in its own case’ by investigating the circumstances surrounding the non-remittance of the funds.
The house directed its Committee on Financial Crimes to take over the investigation from the EFCC for “a thorough and proper investigation”.
In the alternative, the house had called on the Solicitor-General of the Federation to re-assign the investigation to either the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission or the Nigeria Police.