The Senate has vowed to pursue to a logical conclusion the alleged diversion of N2 trillion seized funds and assets from corrupt politicians by the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde.
Chairman, Senate Ad hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West), told journalists in Abuja at the weekend that nothing would deter the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions from concluding the exercise.
Reacting to the alleged procedural error in the investigative process of the graft allegation, the Senate spokesman explained that there was nothing wrong with the probe, assuring that the committee would pursue the probe of the anti-graft agency to its conclusive end.
He noted that a senator might decide to submit a petition from a member of his senatorial district in plenary or submit to the Senate President directly.
“There is no procedural error in the EFCC’s probe because how petitions can be submitted had already been stated in Senate’s standing rules and the one upon which Lamorde is being probed by the relevant Senate Committee was routed through one of the provisions of the rules,” he explained.
Chief Executive of Public Alert Security Systems, George Uboh, had petitioned the Senate Committee, accusing the EFCC boss of diverting recovered stolen funds and items amounting to N2 trillion. Lamorde described the petition as a blackmail.
Sequel to the petition, the committee organised a public hearing some weeks ago, where Uboh made submissions on the allegations while Lamorde sought for extension of time to enable him get ready all the relevant documents requested by the committee before appearing.
However, a group of senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC), under the aegis of Senate Unity Forum (SUF), and those of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kicked against the probe, alleging that the exercise violated the procedures of the Senate.
The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), acknowledged that the investigation had some procedural errors, but noted that there was no cause for alarm since the report of the committee would definitely come to the Senate for consideration. He said: “I think there were some procedural lapses there, but I don’t want to believe it was deliberate because there is no way you can cut corners or use the institution of the Senate to settle personal scores. It doesn’t work that way.”