…your resolution mere witch-hunt, blackmail – Idris replies
The Senate yesterday passed a vote of no confidence on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, for his refusal to appear before it for the third time.
The Red Chamber also describe him as unfit to hold any public office in the country, labelling him a threat to democracy.
Idris was summoned to explain the alleged maltreatment of Senator Dino Melaye by the force and the handling of the continued killings in different parts of the country.
When he first declined to show up a forthnight ago, the Senate Committee Chairman on Police Affairs, Abu Ibrahim, claimed that the IGP accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to Bauchi on a state visit.
He was resummoned to appear the following week. Again, Ibrahim said the IGP traveled to Kaduna State to monitor the security situation there. He promised the police boss would appear yesterday.
Disturbed by his consistent refusal to appear, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, met with Buhari on Monday to report the erring IGP.
After the meeting, Saraki told State House correspondents that the IGP would appear before lawmakers on Wednesday (yesterday).
At about 12:15pm yesterday, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, moved a motion that the IGP be ushered into the chamber by the Clerk to the Senate.
Five minutes later, the Clerk returned and informed the Senate that the IGP did not show up and did not send a representative either.
“I have just been informed that the Inspector-General of Police is not here or anybody in his team so I think we need to decide on the line of action,” Saraki who presided announced.
At this point lawmakers were raging. Lawan informed his colleagues: “For the last two days we have tried to reach the IGP to inform him that he should appear today in keeping our resolution we have done that.
“I think this is very unusual and unfortunate. I feel that a public officer should do what is in the interest of the public.”
Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha, suggested that a closed-door session be held to take a decisive action on the issue. He described the non-appearance as a national disgrace.
Enyinnaya Abaribe warned that the action of the IGP was capable of derailing the country’s democracy. He added that the refusal is an abuse of government’s powers.
Members thereafter, went into a closed-door session for about 30 minutes. Saraki announced the position of the Senate:
“The Senate in a closed session deliberated on the non-appearance of the IGP to the Senate to the plenary after a series of invitations.
“The Senate views this persistent refusal as a great danger to our democracy and hence the Senate resolved to declare IGP as an enemy of democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.
“The leader of the Senate was also mandated to look into the matter for further necessary action.”
Meanwhile, the Force Headquarters has taking exceptions to yesterday’s resolution by the Senate.
Consequent upon the failure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to honour invitation – the third in the series – the Senate had declared him as enemy of democracy.
But, the IGP, in a statement by the Force Public Relations Oficer, ACP Jimoh Moshood, accused the Red Chamber of witch-hunt.
” The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to the media reportage of the Senate’s resolution on Senate Order Paper of today, Wednesday, 9th May, 2018 after a closed door session that the “Senate declares the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim k. Idris, NPM, mni, as an enemy of democracy and unfit to hold any public office within and outside the country”.
“It is urgently imperative that the Nigeria Police Force respond to this resolution of the Senate which is a deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting, unfortunate and mischievous.
“In accordance with the extant laws in Nigeria, the functions, duties and responsibilities of the Inspector General of Police as stated in Section 215(1a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, and the Police Act and Regulations Section 309(1) can also be carried out as mentioned in sections 7(1),312(1), 313(2) of the Police Act and Regulations by a senior officer of the Force of the Rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police or an Assistant Inspector General of Police who if permitted by the Inspector General of Police to act on his behalf or represent him in an official capacity at any official function, event or programme within and outside Nigeria can do so in consonant with the provisions of the Police Act and Regulations”, Moshood said.
He added that: ” It is on the basis of the above that when on the 25th of April, 2018, the Senate invited the Inspector-General of Police to appear before it on the 26th of April 2018, in respect of the felonious offenses for which Sen. Dino Melaye was taken into Police custody, investigated and arraigned in a Court of Competent Jurisdiction in Lokoja, but because the Inspector-General of Police was on official assignment with the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria to Bauchi on same date, he delegated the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Department of Operations, Assistant Inspector-Generals of Police and some Commissioners of Police conversant with the matter to brief the Senate.
“The delegated Officers went with a brief of the Inspector-General of Police on the matter to the Senate to enable the Senate appreciate the issues raised to guide their resolutions on the matter but the Senate refused to listen to the Officers delegated by the Inspector-General of Police in line with his powers recognized by both the Constitution and the Police Act and Regulations.
“The Senate again on the 26th of April 2018 wrote the Inspector-General of Police re-inviting him to appear before the Senate in person on the 2nd of May, 2018 but this time around the IGP was on official assignment to Birnin-Gwari Area of Kaduna State in company of the General Officer Commanding, One Division, Nigerian Army Kaduna, Major General Mohammed Mohammed to attend to some very serious security matters of National Importance, but he promptly delegated the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Research and Planning, Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police to represent him and brief the Senate on the same subject matter but the Senate again refused to accord them audience insisting that the Inspector-General of Police must appear in person.
“On the 8th of May, 2018, the Inspector General of Police sent a letter to the President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria signed by the Commissioner of Police, Legal and Prosecution Department, explaining why he would not be appearing before the Senate on the 9th of May, 2018 due to legal restraint as a result of pending cases before the courts filed: (i) by Senator Dino Melaye against the IGP and the Nigeria Police Force in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in suit No. CV/1610/18 slated for hearing on the 11th day of May, 2018. ”
Continuing, he said: ” It is on record that consequent on the confession of criminal offences indicting Senator Dino Melaye by the principal suspect KABIRU SAIDU a.k.a OSAMA “31 YRS”, The Nigeria Police Force, sent a letter of investigation activities/invitation dated 2nd March, 2018 addressed to the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria informing and requesting him to release Senator Dino Melaye to report to Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Command on the 7th of March, 2018 to answer to criminal offences of Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms levelled against him, this is to enable the Police Investigation Team carryout a discreet and thorough investigation into the case. But Senator Dino Melaye refused to honour the Police invitation.
“It is pertinent that the Nigeria Police Force informs the members of the General Public that the reasons for which the Senate has summoned the Inspector General of Police is official and not personal, and the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the Police Act and Regulations allowed the IGP to delegate Deputy Inspector General of Police or Assistant Inspector General of Police to represent him.
“Consequently, the action of the Senate in its resolution against the IGP today is a deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting with mischievous motives to hand-twist the IGP to pervert the end of justice in a felonious and serious offenses of Criminal Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms for which Senator Dino Melaye who was indicted by two (2) Principal Suspects (Kabiru Seidu A.K.A OSAMA, Nuhu Salisu A.K.A SMALL) arrested for several cases of kidnappings and armed robberies in Kogi State are already standing trial in a court of competent jurisdiction.
“It is important to correct the impression created in the minds of the people from the Senate’s resolution that the IGP is not and will not be an enemy to democracy. It is also of significant note to state that IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni, has served meritoriously for above Ten (10) years in the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations in several countries unblemished. The Nigeria Police Force is the first defender of Democracy and all democratic institutions in Nigeria and will continue to do so.
“It is factual and verifiable that Senator Dino Melaye was discharged and certified fit to stand trial by the National Hospital, Abuja before he was arraigned in Chief Magistrate Courts in Wuse, Abuja and Lokoja…”