For failing to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to defend himself over the allegation of N2.05trillion fraud made against him by a security expert, Dr. George Uboh, the upper legislative chamber yesterday threatened to order the arrest of immediate past chairman of the Economical Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde.
This is even as Lamorde’s lawyer who represented him yesterday said the Senate has no power to summon the former EFCC boss since he’s no longer the chairman of the anti-graft agency.
The committee, however, gave Lamorde another date of Tuesday, November 24 to appear before it, failure which a warrant of arrest would be ordered against him for flagrant disrespect to the senate.
Lamorde, who has been expected to appear before the committee since August 26, also failed to show up, but Keyamo tried in vain to explain that the former EFCC boss travelled abroad for medical treatment.
Not pleased with the excuse, chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP Imo East), insisted that Lamorde must appear before him and other members to defend the allegation levelled against him by the petitioner.
He recalled with displeasure that Lamorde has refused to honour the committee invitation for the past three months.
“This is not a law court, we invited him as a person not as EFCC boss. The petition has been written to us against him and thrice we have written to him, inviting him to come and defend himself,” he said.
Senator Anyanwu said since the Senate is not a court of law, Barrister Keyamo cannot represent Lamorde, “Bring him on the 24th of this month. We wish him well but come with him on Tuesday.”
Also speaking, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) said Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution empowers the Senate to invite Lamorde.
“The petition is not against Lamorde as chairman of EFCC but as an individual. So we will not want to start any legal somersault. For us to look at the petition, we must have him here with us. We are operating within our constitutional mandate”, Melaye said.
Senators Obinna Ogba (PDP Ebonyi Central) and Tayo Alasoadura (APC Ondo Central) said Lamorde’s continued refusal to appear in person before the committee is not only an insult and disrespect to the committee, but to the senate.
They therefore urged Keyamo to bring him next week Tuesday so as to prevent the committee from invoking the powers of the senate on Lamorde by ensuring his arrest.
In his defence, Keyamo said Lamorde did not disrespect the Senate, saying, “it is clearly lack of understanding. When he was invited, he was invited as chairman and between now and then, things have changed.
“It was as a result of that thought, that he felt he could no longer stand here. He travelled abroad for medicals. The Senate does not have power over private person, “he said .
Speaking with newsmen in an interview shortly after appearing before the committee, Keyamo said Lamorde can only be invited as a witness by the Senate and not as a subject of investigation.
“The Constitution is very clear about it by section 88 and 89, the Senate has power over two categories of people. The first are those who are subject of investigation, they can be summoned before the committee and the second are the witnesses to appear in respect of that investigation.
“Now, those who can be subject of investigation must be public officer, holding that office that is being investigated, section 88 and 89 of the constitution is clear on this. The Senate can only invite Lamorde as witness because he is no longer the chairman of EFCC. The Senators don’t know their powers, I have done research on it “, he said.
On the report that Lamorde has gone on exile, Keyamo said, “No, he is not on exile, he is still a policeman. He has no reason to go on exile because he has served the country very well. Let me tell you, the only way to succeed as EFCC chairman, is for you not to succeed.”

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