Senate Ignorant Of Its Powers - Lamorde's Lawyer, Keyamo

Senate Ignorant Of Its Powers - Lamorde's Lawyer, Keyamo

Lawyer to the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Festus Keyamo has said that the Nigerian senate is ignorant of the powers vested on it by the constitution.

Senate Ignorant Of Its Powers - Lamorde's Lawyer, Keyamo
Festus keyamo

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The counsel to Ibrahim Lamorde fired a harsh remark at the Nigerian Senate after the hearing of the  senate committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on the probe of the former anti-graft chairman.

Keyamo told journalists that the Senate has no power to “invite anybody”.

The lawyer however said the Senate could only summon but not invite.

He said he corrected the Senate on its powers during the appointment of the service chiefs.

“And on this case, I am ready to invite them again,” Keyamo said.

READ ALSO: Senate Issues Final Warning To Lamorde, Threatens To Arrest

The senate committee had invited Lamorde for investigation following a petition against him by the chief executive of the Public Alerts Security Systems George Uboh.

Uboh in his petition alleged that Lamorde diverted N1 trillion recovered assets by the EFCC in his capacity as the Director of Operations and later Chairman.

The senate committee resumed hearing on the allegations of corruption against the former EFCC chairman although he did not make an appearance, he was represented by his counsel.

Lamorde’s absence angered the committee chaired by Samuel Anyanwu of the Imo West People's Democratic Party (PDP).

The commission's former chairman had previously ignored an earlier summon by the senate on August 26.

At the hearing, efforts made by Keyamo to persuade the committee to allow him make representation for his client were rebuffed.

“We don’t accept representative,” Anyanwu said. “A person may come with his lawyers for guide; but the person must come," he said.

READ ALSO: This Is Exactly What EFCC Does With Recovered Money

Reiterating the chairman’s position, a member of the committee, Dino Melaye read Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, he emphasized the “senate’s power to summon anybody”.

He said the former anti-corruption czar has ignored the senates invitations despite several letters sent to him.

“Once you get the invitation of the National Assembly, it is mandatory to come,” Malaye added.

Since the law requests anyone summoned to the Senate Committee hearing to swear to oath, he explained it would be impossible for the Committee to allow Lamorde to be represented.

Obinna Ogba (PDP-Ebonyi Central) and Tayo Alasoadura (All Progressive Congress - Ondo Central) also condemned Lamorde's actions.

But defending his client's absence Keyamo reminded the Committee that his client was first invited as EFCC Chairman. He pointed that his absence was not out of disrespect for the Committee.

He also questioned if the senate could still invite Lamorde and when they do not have jurisdiction over him.

Keyamo was instantly interrupted by the committee members who chorused, “He is still in the public service as a Police officer.”

Anyanwu in his opinion added that the petition was written against the person of Lamorde, disputing his counsel’s point that the former EFCC boss had thought his exit from the commission had meant end to his appearance for probe.

The Senate therefore ended the hearing and issued a new date, , for Lamorde to appear in person.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Nnenna Ibeh avatar

Nnenna Ibeh Nnenna Ibeh is a journalist with over 10 years of experience with various media organisations including Premium Times. Being on the front burner of reporting politics and the different dimensions of governance, she is also passionate about girls' education and women's and children's health. With degrees in Journalism, Peace Studies & Conflict Res., and Dev. Studies, Nnenna has worked in the dev. sector as a communications officer for the Centre for Democracy and Dev. email: ibehnnenna@gmail.com

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