PDP Senators Bicker, Oppose Saraki's Covert Move To Probe EFCC Chairman
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate Caucus is divided over a petition being promoted by one of its senators, seeking to probe the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, over allegations of diversion of at least N1 trillion seized from corrupt and convicted persons.
A notorious first term senator, Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North), an ally of Senate President Bukola Saraki, whose wife, Toyin, is under investigation by the anti-graft agency for allegedly using her bank accounts to launder billions of naira of Kwara State government funds while Saraki served as Governor, is the arrowhead of the probe.
Sources told THEWILL that Senator Saraki is covertly behind the probe to get back at Lamorde, who approved the interrogation of Mrs. Saraki.
Curiously, the bid to probe Lamorde using the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions did not follow due process, according to some senators opposed to the bid. They said the petition was not discussed on the floor of the Senate and ought to have been sent directly to the Senate President and not to a freshman senator with zero legislative record like Nwaoboshi, who is also notoriously corrupt.
“We fear the committee is being used to settle some scores. We wont let that happen here,” one PDP senator said.
The PDP caucus is also strongly opposed to the move and has made its position known in a statement signed by the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Sen. Phillip Aduda (FCT), Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba) and Senator Abiodun Olujimi (Ekiti).
The statement said: “It has come to the notice of the PDP leadership in the Senate that the Senate Committee on Public Petitions would begin a public hearing on Wednesday, 26th of August 2015 and the Committee has invited the Chairman of EFCC to appear before it.
“The PDP leadership in the Senate is not against any committee of the Senate performing its oversight duties and or functions but we feel that this is not the appropriate time to embark on this most important assignment, particularly since this same action was mooted and has failed at previous plenary session.
“We therefore urge the committee to suspend its public hearing on this particular matter until further notice.
“The PDP Senate leadership reassures the Nigerian public of its support for the war against corruption by the Federal Government of Nigeria but hastens to add that such fight against corruption should be total and not selective.
“Nigerians need peace at this period of economic challenges precipitated by the falling oil prices and actions that will overheat the polity and generate unnecessary friction between the Executive and the Legislature should be guided.”
The petition was written by a certain Mr. George Uboh, who alleged that Lamorde looted assets and cash recovered from a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha; and ex-Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun.
The fraud allegedly perpetrated by Larmode was said to have 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.