Senate To Issue Arrest Warrant On Former Efcc Boss Larmorde
SAN FRANCISCO, February 25, (THEWILL) – Senate has asked its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to comply with constitutional provisions and issue an arrest warrant on Ibrahim Lamorde, former chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for alleged financial crimes and corruption.
This followed the report of the Samuel Anyanwu-led committee, which recommended that since Lamorde had evaded the committee’s invitation on three occasions, a warrant of arrest was the only means that could be adopted to bring him before the committee.
Shortly after hearing the committee’s frustration at Lamorde’s repeated absence, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, raised a Point of Order and reminded the panel that the Constitution had granted it the powers to request the arrest of anyone.
Ekweremadu added that issuing of a warrant of arrest was not subject to the resolution of the Senate at plenary, revealing that Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) gave the committee sufficient power to request the arrest.
He added that Section 89(4) also give the committee the power to ensure that the person being arrested be made to pay for the cost of enforcing the arrest.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
In his ruling, Senate president, Bukola Saraki, upheld the Point of Order raised by his deputy stressing that the request for a warrant should not have come to plenary in the first place.
“The issue has been well spelt out by the DSP based on the constitution. This matter does not need to come to us at plenary. It should be left at the level of the committee and in accordance with section 89 of the Constitution,” he said.
The committee had sought the Senate to adopt its resolution seeking that Larmorde be arrested and compelled to appear before it, having shunned three summons by the committee in 2015 recommending that Larmorde be arrested in order to save the face of the Senate and conserve its powers to summon.
George Uboh, Executive Director, Panic Alert Security System, had in October 2015, written a petition against Larmode for allegedly diverting over N1 trillion recovered by the anti-graft agency which is being investigated by the senate at the committee level.
Story by David Oputah