House of representatives refuse invitation by EFCC to its members

House of representatives refuse invitation by EFCC to its members

- The House of Representatives has said its members will ignore invitations by the EFCC

- The house said members invited will only honour invitation if it's sent by the anti-graft agency routed through Speaker Yakubu Dogara

- 50 members of the House were said to have been invited by the EFCC for interrogation

The House of Representatives has said it will only honour the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission if the agency meets one condition.

The house said the only condition in which its 50 members invited for questioning by the EFCC will honour the invitation is if the agency can route the invitation through Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

NAIJ.com gathered that 13 of the 50 members invited are principal officers which include Dogara; deputy speaker, Lasun Yusuf; Leo Ogor; and House Whip Alhassan Doguwa.

The invitation of its members over the alleged N284 billion budget padding should be routed through Dogara, it said in a letter to EFCC, The Nation reports.

It said its minority leader, Ogor, would not appear before EFCC if that condition is not met.

But the commission is weighing its options on whether or not to accept the condition.

One of the options is to write a fresh letter to the House, asking Ogor and 12 others, in the first batch of those to be interrogated, to report.

It was however learnt that any member who fails to report to the EFCC might be arrested since representatives do not enjoy immunity.

It was learnt that the House, in a letter through its clerk to EFCC, said the proper process is to request for the release of Ogor or any member through the speaker.

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Only Ogor has been invited for interrogation by the EFCC.

A source in the commission said: “We have received a letter from the Clerk to the House claiming that he was directed by the Speaker to tell the EFCC that Ogor or any Representative be invited through the Speaker.

“We don’t know what informed such a notice but the Clerk was saying it is the norm. We are weighing options including exhausting all hurdles laid by the House.

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“We may write the House but at the end if Ogor and other lawmakers refuse to honour our invitation, we will effect their arrest.

“No member of the House has constitutional immunity from investigation and prosecution.”

Another source said some members of the House were considering legal alternatives to stop the EFCC from investigating them.

The source added: “Going to court might backfire for the lawmakers because the Supreme Court just delivered a judgment that no one can obtain injunctions against a criminal trial.

“In the case of Olisa Metuh, the Supreme Court upheld the provisions of Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and Section 40 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, which prohibit courts in the country from granting stay of proceedings in criminal trials.”

Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday, June 13, received the suspended chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations Abdulmumin Jibrin at its headquarters in Abuja.

During the interrogation which lasted for five hours, Jibrin, was made to explain details of the budget process and some of the illegal and alleged corrupt practices by some lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

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Source: Naij.com

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