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Senate Seeks Lamorde’s Arrest Over Alleged N1 Trillion Fraud

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

After failing to appear before its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions for thorough investigation on alleged N1trillion scam, the Senate on Thursday gave nod to issuance of warrant of arrest against the former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde.

Lamorde had been under the radar of the Committee since August last year when a petitioner, George Uboh forwarded a petition against Lamorde to it , alleging during his stay in office, he diverted over N1 trillion looted funds recovered by the commission from corrupt officials.

Specifically, Uboh in the petition alleged that the fraud perpetrated by Larmode dated back to his days as the Director of Operations of the EFCC between 2003 and 2007, as well as an acting Chairman of the commission between June 2007 and May 2008, when the then Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, was away for a course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.

While the petitioner (George Uboh) had appeared before the committee since September last year for substantiation of his allegations, Lamorde had refused to appear before it to make any Defence.

The committee in its report considered by the Senate yesterday said it forwarded three different written requests of appearance to Lamorde between August and November last year, without him honoring any one of them.

The committee therefore in its recommendation, requested the Senate to issue warrant of arrest on Lamorde.

The committee stated in the recommendation that unless this line of action was taken, the National Assembly might draw into consequential disrepute.

But the senate in giving nod to issuance of warrant of arrest on Lamorde , said since by relevant provisions of the law, the committee has the power to issue such warrant, it should go ahead by routing it through the office of the Senate President.

Raising a point of order to that effect, the Deputy Senate President, Ike EKweremadu quoted sections 88(1) and 89(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended to guide the senate on the committee’s recommendation.

According to him, what is required as regards the committee’s recommendation on issuance of warrant of arrest against Lamorde is for the committee itself to issue it by passing it through the office of the Senate President and not urging the Senate as a body to issue it.

“So what is required here is for the committee to issue a warrant of arrest and then the President of the Senate will direct the Police to effect the arrest.

“It is not the business of the Senate during the plenary to do so otherwise we will be offending this part of the constitution.

“So the issue of warrant of arrest is not something that we will take a resolution on, the resolution has already been taken by the committee.

If there is any consequential order that needs to be made, the committee can deal with that and direct it through the Office of the President of the Senate who will direct the Police to effect the warrant”, he said.

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