Court Stops Senate From Investigating Ex EFCC Boss, Ibrahim Lamorde

Former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde
Former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday stopped the Senate from investigating former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, over allegations that he failed to remit several billions recovered as proceeds of corruption to the government coffers..

The Senate had summoned `Lamorde in November, 2015 to answer questions over alleged remitted funds, proceeds of properties seized from corrupt persons but the former EFCC boss had gone to court to challenge the invitation by the legislative house.

In a motion exparte filed on March 7, Festus Ukpue, representing the former EFCC boss, asked the court to prevent the Senate from issuing a warrant of arrest on his client pending the determination of a suit he filed before the court.

After listening to Ukpue present the motion, Justice Kolawole, ordered that “a limited order on injunction” be granted to the applicant restraining the defendants “pending when they are heard on the reply to the plaintiff’s motion on notice.”

“That the plaintiff’s counsel is hereby directed to obtain a certified true copy of the order in this ruling, and shall cause same to be served on the Inspector-General of Police who shall, on the authority of this court’s order refrain to give any effect to any such warrant which the defendants may have issued against the plaintiff on the simple judicial principle of lis pendens, the judge further ordered.

The invitation by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to Lamorde had come following a petition by an anti-corruption crusader, George Uboh, that the former chairman of the EFCC had failed to remit billions seized from corrupt persons to the government.

.Uboh, a security consultant and chief executive officer of Panic Alert Security Systems, in a petition dated July 31, 2015, accused Lamorde of some specific instances of under-remittance and non-disclosure of funds recovered from corrupt persons, including convicted former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun and former Bayelsa State governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.






     

     

    Uboh also alleged that the EFCC could not account for monies recovered offshore recoveries and that over half of the assets seized from suspects are not reflected in EFCC exhibit records.

    The Senate had initially sent an invitation to Lamorde on the matter while he was in office but he failed to honour the summons until November last year when he was removed from office.

    The Senate sent another invitation to him after leaving office but Lamorde, through his lawyer, Festus Keyamo, who appeared for him contended that the legislative house had no power to summon him as he had left the office. Keyamo argued that only a court could summon him to answer questions relating to any allegations.

    Lamorde followed up that action by challenging the Senate summon in court and has succeeded in stalling his investigation for now.

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