Former EFCC chair, Lamorde, goes to school despite Senate arrest warrant

Former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde

Ibrahim Lamorde, the immediate past chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, will Friday begin a course for senior police officers at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, near Jos, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

Mr. Lamorde’s procession to‎ the policy formation centre for bureaucrats in Plateau State is coming amidst an order for his arrest by the Nigerian Senate.

“Mr. Lamorde is still a serving top police officer so it’s unclear who is going to effect the arrest order by the Senate,”‎ a source who did not want to be named told PREMIUM TIMES.

“It was the police hierarchy that sent him to NIPSS.

“What we are saying is, he was invited as head of EFCC, not as Mr. Lamorde,‎ to answer questions on how the agency had spent its money. Now he’s no longer there, and the EFCC is a continuum. The current boss should be the one to be invited,” the source said.

The Senate on Thursday issued a warrant for Mr. Lamorde’s arrest for repeatedly failing to appear before its committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions.

The committee, chaired by Samuel Anyanwu (APC – Imo East), investigating Mr. Lamorde for alleged corruption, had requested for the arrest warrant.

But the former EFCC boss responded through his lawyer, Festus Keyamo, asking the Nigeria Police to disregard the Senate’s order for his arrest.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Mr. Keyamo said ‎the police and other law enforcement agencies should resist the invitation to drag themselves into “this illegal scheme.”

“We most respectfully urge the Nigeria Police Force to await the outcome of the matter pending in court before deciding one way or the other about the enforcement of the said Warrant of Arrest, if eventually issued,” his lawyer said in the statement.‎

“If the court decides otherwise against our position, our client is prepared to appear before the Senate or any of its Committees.”

Mr. Lamorde, a commissioner, was removed as EFCC chairman in November last year, four years after he took over as head of the anti-graft agency.

Three months earlier, a petitioner, George Uboh, had accused Mr. Lamorde of diverting about N1 trillion proceeds of corruption recovered by the agency, prompting a Senate committee to commence an investigation.

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions invited Mr. Lamorde to a “meeting” on August 26 but the former EFCC boss failed to attend.

Another letter of invitation‎ from the Senate committee was sent to Mr. Lamorde proposing another meeting on November 5.

Again, Mr. Lamorde failed to attend the meeting.

On November 11, the Senate committee issued another invitation letter to Mr. Lamorde urging him to appear before them on November 17.

Mr. Lamorde also failed to appear on the said date, with his lawyer‎ saying he was out of the country on his three month terminal leave.

On November 19, Mr. Lamorde instituted a legal action at the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an interpretation of the powers of the Senate with respect to investigations.

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