The Senate yesterday refuted claims that its invitation to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, to appear before it to answer questions on his alleged complicity in the diversion of funds amounting to N1 trillion does not have any link with the quizzing of the wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Tonye Saraki, by the EFCC in July.
The UNION recalls that the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions had invited Larmode to appear before it tomorrow (Wednesday) over allegation that the EFCC fraudulently diverted over N1 trillion proceeds of corruption that were recovered by the anti-graft agency. But the Interim Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye, stated in Abuja that the petition against the EFCC boss raised very serious issues that could not be ignored by the Senate.
The fraud allegedly committed by the leadership of the EFCC dated back to Lamoorde’s days as the Director of Operations of the EFCC between 2003 and 2007, and as acting Chairman of the Commission between the period of June 2007 to May 2008, when the then Chairman of the antigraft agency, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, was away on a course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos. Melaye added that the Senate is not on vendetta mission, but must be seen to be very responsive and responsible to Nigerians on issues bordering on corruption, which had for years held Nigeria to a standstill.
The petition, he said, drew the attention of the Senate to allegations of corrupt practices against the person entrusted with the job of piloting the country’s crusade against corruption. He added that there was no way the Senate would look away from it. “Would you prefer that the Senate should close its eyes and ears to that? The personality of the Chairman of the EFCC must be such that is substantially free from corruption so that he could freely deliver on the mandate of purging the country of the evil of corruption.
-Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja