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Government & Politics

Former EFCC Chairman Hits Back At Senate

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Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde has hit back at the Senate for attempting to issue a warrant for his arrest.

His counsel, Festus Keyamo, in a press release issued late Thursday, questioned the validity of the Senate’s Committee on Ethics Privileges and Public Petitions invitation of his client.

The Senate had on Thursday during plenary mandated its Committee on Ethic Privileges and Public Petitions to issue a warrant of arrest on Lamorde for failing to appear before the Committee to answer charges brought against him while in office.

He was accused of diversion of N1 trillion recovered loot.

But, Lamorde questioned the invitation to give account of his stewardship, nothing that he had handed over to his successor on November 9, 2015.

He accused the Senate of ignoring the laws it is supposed to make.

He also warned the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, against getting involved in a matter which was still pending in a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The statement in part, reads: “We respectfully urge the Inspector General of Police and other law enforcement agencies to disregard any such Warrant of Arrest (if issued) and resist the invitation to drag themselves into this illegal scheme. To set the records straight, the antecedents of this matter are briefly reproduced hereunder.

“On the 9th of November, 2015, our client was relieved of his duties as the Chairman of the EFCC and he handed over all obligations, duties and responsibilities pertaining to his office to Ibrahim Mustapha Magu, who was appointed Acting Chairman.

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Despite the fact that our client had handed over to the Acting Chairman, another letter of invitation was sent to him on 11th November, 2015 inviting him for a meeting with the Committee on 17th November, 2015. Our client could not honour that invitation as he was out of the country on his 3-month terminal leave.

However, on the said 11th November, 2015, we appeared before the Committee to represent our client and raised objections to the conduct of the investigations by the Committee on two grounds.

“As a law abiding citizen, our client instructed us to institute an action at the Federal High Court seeking an interpretation of the powers of the Senate with respect to investigations.

“As a law-abiding Police Force, you are aware that one of the Pillars of our democracy is the respect for the Rule of Law. By extension, this implies that when matters are pending before a court of law, all parties are expected to maintain status quo pending the determination of the matter.

“The conducts of the Senate and the Committee amount to legislative rascality as they seek to usurp the powers of the judiciary and to undermine its authority.

“If the court decides otherwise against our position, our client is prepared to appear before the Senate or any of its Committees.”

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