Despite his removal as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the immediate past chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, will appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions tomorrow, to defend himself against allegations of diversion of funds raised against him by Dr. George Uboh.
This was disclosed by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who said the Senate has already scheduled the meeting.
Recall that Lamorde was to appear before the committee last Tuesday but was called off as President Muhammadu Buhari announced his sack the same day.
He also added that the committee’s first scheduled date for Lamorde to appear fell within the annual recess time of the National Assembly and so it had to be rescheduled as some members of the committee had travelled out for Hajj in Saudi Arabia and other places.
Recall that the committee met on the petition on August 26, where the petitioner, Dr. Uboh, presented his case before the senators and officials of the EFCC, led by the director of Legal Services, Mr. Chile Okoroma, were asked to leave the hearing venue at the National Assembly, sequel to Lamorde’s request for extension of time.
Okoroma was accompanied to the hearing by Lamorde’s personal lawyer, Mr. Ugochukwu Osuagwu, who had been assigned by the then EFCC chairman to stand in for him.
The meeting ended in a tense way after Okoroma accused the Senate committee of violating the procedure on the conduct of public hearing on public petitions by listening to the submissions of the petitioner in the absence of the accused, alleging that it breached the principle of fair hearing.
“It is very wrong for a petitioner to be heard publicly in the absence of the person the petition is against,” he said.
According to the lawyer, Lamorde sought for extension of time pending the outcome of the comprehensive annual audit report of the EFCC from its audit firm, KPMG.