LAMORDE EX-EFCCThe recently sacked Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, has dragged the Nigerian Senate to a Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja, challenging their powers to summon and probe him on the alleged diversion of over N1trillion recovered from fraudsters.

Lamorde in a suit filed on Thursday by his counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo, prayed the court to declare that the Senate has no power again to invite him for a probe, having left office as a public officer, following his sack as EFCC chairman. Joined as co-defendants in the legal action are the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition; the Inspector General of Police, and the Director-General, State Security Service (SSS).

In the originating summon, issued against the Senate, the plaintiff wants the court to determine whether in view of the provisions of Section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution, the first and second defendants, their officers, members, agents or privies can invite Lamorde to appear before them as a person whose conduct of affairs is being investigate by them (Senators) in relation to issues concerning the office already vacated.

Keyamo is also asking the court to determine whether in view of the provisions of the Section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution, the first and second defendants, their officers, members, agents or privies, the first and second defendants can request the plaintiff to appear before them by merely writing an invitation letter to him and not issuing a summon.

He also wants the court to determine whether in view of the provisions of Section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution, the third and fourth defendants, their officers, members, agents or privies, can execute any warrant issued by the first and second defendants against the plaintiff and which was issued without first issuing a summons on the plaintiff.

Besides, the plaintiff also wants the court to determine whether by virtue of Section 36(1) of the Provisions of 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (amended), it is not unconstitutional for the second defendant to prevent counsel to the plaintiff’s behalf only for the purpose of raising objection to procedural defects in the invitation to the plaintiff to appear before the second defendant.

In view of this, Lamorde is requesting for an order of injunction against the third and fourth defendants restraining them from executing any warrant issued by the first and second defendants against the plaintiff and which was issued without first issuing a summons to the plaintiff.

He is also praying the court to set aside all letters of invitation issued against the Plaintiff by the 1st and 2nd Defendants to appear before them as a person being investigated by them in relation to issues concerning his stewardship of office(s) he has already vacated.

The former EFCC boss is also raising an order of injunction against the first and second defendants restraining them from issuing any warrant for the arrest of the plaintiff without first issuing summons to the plaintiff. No date has been fixed for hearing.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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