The Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Sen. Samuel Anyanwu said on Tuesday that his committee would go ahead with the proposed probe of the EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde.
Anyanwu said this when he spoke with news men in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate Minority Leader , Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has in a signed statement, dissociated himself from the planned probe.
Akpabio said that the Senate had already stood it down at plenary.
Anyanwu, however, said that Akpabio was misinformed in his stance.
He said that the senate only rejected a prayer to invite the CBN Governor and EFCC Chairman over a motion bordering on Naira depreciation.
Anyanwu said that Akpabio had called him to express regret over the misinformation contained in the press statement, adding that there were no more misunderstandings.
“Of course, this is a standing committee of the Senate.
“It is not only EFCC boss that was invited. There are other petitions which we have invited the petitioners and those that were petitioned against.
“We have the FIRS and Comptroller General of Customs that are also coming tomorrow. So, I don’t know why this should be an issue.
“We are guided by the Senate Standing Rule and the 1999 Constitution to invite anybody when the need arises.
“If you look at the press statement by the Minority Leader of the party, Sen. Akpabio, it was a misinformation.
“There was an amendment of a motion at the floor of the Senate where the CBN Governor was to be invited with the EFCC boss regarding naira depreciation and all that.
“But we stood it down. So, there was a misinformation. So, he thought that it was the same issue. But this is a petition against the person of the EFCC boss,” he said.
Reacting to comments credited to the spokesperson of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, that the senate did not follow due process, Anyanwu said that the due process on petitions was followed.
He denied allegations that that the senate was seemingly on a vendetta mission against Lamorde following the anti-graft agency’s invitation of the wife of the President of the Senate, Mrs Toyin Saraki.
He said that the senate was on recess but some key committees would still have to meet during the recess so as to have reports to present on the floor upon the resumption of the senate.
“We have so many petitions, up to 10 petitions. The EFCC is one of them and FIRS and so many of them.
“There is no situation that because we are on recess we cannot sit.
“The issue of invitation of Senate President’s wife has nothing to do with our job. It is not on that basis (motion) that we are inviting the EFCC boss.
“This committee is a fact-finding committee. Our job is: every petition that comes to this committee must be treated.
“If somebody brings a petition against the EFCC boss, the person is a Nigerian so he has the right and as long as he will come before the committee to substantiate the petition, we must take it serious.
“If we don’t take it up, people will say probably we have been settled, that is why we didn’t bring up the matter.
“It is only a mere allegation. We cannot convict anybody, we are not a law court,” he said.
Other senators who spoke to newsmen also said that the invitation of the EFCC helmsman had nothing to do with the commission’s invitation of Mrs Saraki.
Sen. Rafiu Ibrahim (APC Kwara South), described the allegation of vendetta as `laughable’ and wondered if the petition was written by a senator.
“Every Nigerian has the right to write to the Senate and all issues will be taken very seriously without bias by this 8th Senate.
“We have keyed in totally to the anti-corruption fight as being led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The parties involve just need to proof their facts and the Senate will make appropriate recommendations to be executed by the Executive,” he said. (NAN)