Senate fixes Tuesday for Lamorde probe ……. PUNCH

lamorde efcc

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, has said that it will continue with the planned probe of the ex-Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, despite his sack by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday.

The Clerk to the committee, Mr. Freedom Osolo, had in a statement on Monday, announced the indefinite postponement of the probe of the erstwhile EFCC boss without giving any reason.

The statement had read in part, “I regret to inform you that the hearing of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions slated for Tuesday, November 10, 2015, has been postponed for the time being.

“You will be duly informed when the meeting is rescheduled, please. The committee regrets any inconveniences the postponement would have caused you.”

But the Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, told our correspondent in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the former boss of the anti-graft agency had not escaped the Senate probe, despite his removal.

He said, “Yes, we are still going ahead with the investigation of allegations of illegal diversion of funds levelled against the former EFCC chairman as contained in the petition before our committee.

“As a matter of fact, we have invited him to appear before us next week Tuesday. He had been invited in his private capacity and not as the chairman of the EFCC, so, the fact that he is no longer the chairman does not stop us from going ahead with our investigation.”

Anyanwu was however silent on why his committee postponed the invitation of Lamorde from this week to Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Tuesday petitioned the two chambers of the National Assembly demanding an immediate probe of an alleged N10m bribery scandal involving the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar.

HURIWA’s petition, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, was signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

The group noted that the EFCC had started an investigation into the alleged bribery allegation levelled against Umar and his personal assistant, Mr. Ali Gambo Abdullahi.

HURIWA clarified that as a civil society group, whose main objective is advocacy and protection of human rights in Nigeria, the immediate probe of the CCT boss would send a strong signal to those still doubting President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war.

The group alleged that the EFCC, through the CCT, launched a counter-attack on Saraki following the decision of the Senate to probe the former chairman of the anti-graft agency, in August this year.