Lamorde asks police to disregard Senate arrest order

Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, requested the Nigeria Police to disregard a Senate order for his arrest.

The Senate had on Thursday ordered Mr Lamorde’s arrest for repeatedly refusing to appear before its probe panel.

Its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, chaired by Samuel Anyanwu (APC-Imo East), is investigating Lamorde for alleged corruption.

But in a statement issued by his lawyer, Festus Keyamo, Lamorde 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,” Mr. Lamorde said.

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

Lamorde’s probe followed a petition by the chief executive of Public Alert Security Systems, George Uboh, who accused the former EFCC boss of diverting N1 trillion of assets recovered by the anti-graft agency during his time as the director of operations and later chairman.

Lamorde, through a statement by the spokesperson of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, had dismissed the allegation, questioning the motive of the Senate probe as it began in the wake of the EFCC’s investigation of Toyin Saraki, wife of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over allegations of graft while her husband governed Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently sacked Lamorde on November 9, 2015, replacing him with Ibrahim Magu as the new EFCC chairman.

Submitting his report on Thursday, Mr. Anyanwu said Lamorde had refused to “honour several invitations of the committee to answer charges brought against him while in office”.

The recommendation that Mr. Lamorde be arrested as well as a request for warrant of arrest on him were subsequently approved by the Senate.