Alleged N1trn Diversion: Senate Ignores Pressure, Vows To Probe EFCC Boss, Lamorde
Intense pressure from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate caucus notwithstanding, the Senate is pushing ahead with the investigation of the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Larmode over alleged diversion of a whopping N1 trillion.
Anyanwu, a PDP senator said the misunderstanding which informed his PDP colleagues to oppose the probe has been sorted out.
“And if you look at the press statement by the Minority Leader of the party, Senator Akpabio, it was a misinformation. There was an amendment of a motion at the floor of the Senate where the CBN Governor was to be invited with the EFCC boss regarding money laundering and all that.
“But we stood it down. So, there was a misinformation. So, he thought that it was the same issue. But this is a petition against the person of the EFCC boss.
He called and he felt sorry about that.
“It is not only EFCC boss that was invited. There are other petitions which we have invited the petitioners and those that petitioned against. We have FIRS, Comptroller General of Customs that is also coming tomorrow.
“So, I don’t know why this should be an issue. We are guided by the Senate Standing Rule and the 1999 Constitution to invite anybody when the matter arises.
“There are ways petitions can come to the Senate. A petitioner can write straight to the Senate President and the President would minute to the appropriate committee that is involved.
“I cannot conclude that now because I’m pre-empting what is not available yet until tomorrow if he doesn’t come. He is not summoned, this is an invitation. There is a difference between summoning and invitation.
“There is a petition before the Committee and we have just invited the petitioner to come and substantiate his petition before the Committee. It is after the petitioner must have come that we will now invite the person petitioned against.
“And before we invite anybody, we normally send a copy of the petition to the person that is petitioned against so that the person will have first-hand information about why he is invited by the Committee. And that is what we have done and that is the normal procedure.
“There are many ways the Senate can operate: at the plenary, committee and the constituency. We are on vacation. Committee like Ethics and Privileges, we have a lot petitions and now that we are on recess, each member agree to spend their time to work.
“And we have to turn in the report of these petitions at the floor of the Senate for the consideration of the entire Senate. We have so many petitions, up to 10 petitions. This is the summary of petitions received so far. That of EFCC is one of them and FIRS and so many of them. There is no situation that because we are on recess we cannot sit.
“Two, the issue of invitation of Senate President’s wife has nothing to do with our job. It is not on that basis (motion) that we are inviting the EFCC boss. This committee is a fact-finding committee.
“Our job is: every petition that comes to this committee must be treated. There is one implication. If somebody says there is a petition against the EFCC boss, the person is a Nigerian. He has the right and as long as he will come before the committee to substantiate the petition, we must take it serious.
“Because if you don’t take it up, what you will hear is that people will say probably we have been settled that is why we didn’t bring up the matter. It’s only a mere allegation. We cannot convict anybody, we are not a law court,” Senator Anyanwu stated.