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Court bars Senate from issuing arrest warrant against ex-EFCC boss

By The Citizen

A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Senate and its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions from issuing any warrant of arrest against the immediate past Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde.

The enrolled order, a copy of which was ‎made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday, was obtained by Lamorde on March 7, 2016.

The restraining order issued by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, is to subsist until determination of the ex-EFCC boss' motion on notice for interlocutory Injunction.

‎The Senate committee is seeking Lamorde's arrest ‎over his failure to appear before to it to answer to the petition that he diverted proceeds of recovered loot from convicts of crimes.

But Justice Kolawole in his ruling directed that the order be served on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.

The judge ruled, 'A limited order of injunction is hereby granted to restrain the defendants pending when they are heard on their reply to plaintiff's motion on notice which I have fixed for March 15, 2016 for the defendants, though served, who have yet to appear in the plaintiff's suit or file any process.'

He ordered the plaintiff's lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, to obtain a certified true copy of the orders in this ruling and serve e same to be served on the Inspector-General of Police.

He ruled that the court would by the court's order, refrain to 'give any effect to any of such warrant which the defendants may have issued against the plaintiff on the simple judicial principle of lis pendens.'

It was learnt that none of the defendants was represented on March 15 when the case came up following which the court adjourned to April 25.

On April 25,  the defendants are expected to show cause why the plaintiff's prayers, as contained in his motion for onterlocutory injunctions, should not be granted.

Lamorde had, in his motion, argued that despite the pendency of his suit in court, the Senate still went ahead to pass a resolution to issue a warrant of arrest against him.

The former EFCC chairman is, by the suit, challenging the powers of the Senate to issue a warrant of arrest when a proper summons to appear had not been issued against him.