By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
Senate yesterday declared the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, an enemy of democracy; even as it said the IGP is unfit for any public office both locally and internationally.
These were the resolutions of the Senate after about 30 minutes closed door meeting, where the senators debated about the constituted refusal of the IGP to appear befit the Senate to answer questions about the continued killings across the country, including the ‘inhuman treatment meted out on senator Dino Melaye by the Nigerian police.
Specifically, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, after the closed door session said, “Senate in a closed session deliberated on the non-appearance of the IGP to the Senate in plenary after a series of invitations.
“The Senate noted that this amounted to a great disrespect to the institution and constituted authority. The Senate also notes that his earlier refusal to appear before its investigative committee was overruled by a court of competent jurisdiction just in April of this year.
“The Senate therefore views his persistent refusal as a great danger to our democracy.
“Therefore, the Senate resolved to declare the IGP as an enemy of our democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria. The leadership of the Senate was also mandated to look into the matter for further necessary action”.
Recall that the Senate had in the wake of arrest of Senator Melaye penultimate week by the Police , summoned the IGP to appear before it for explanations on circumstances leading to the arrest and alleged inhuman treatment meted out to him in the process.
But the IGP refused to personally honour the invitation by sending the Deputy Inspector General of Police ( Operations) Habila Joshak to represent him who was however turned back by the senate .
The same scenario unfolded last week when the IGP refused to personally appear before the senate over the same issues but sent the DIG operations , upon which the Senate resolved to meet the executive for way .
As a way out of the face off, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives , Hon Yakubu Dogara met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday where the matter was tabled and alleged agreement reached for appearance of the IGP before the Senate yesterday.
But to the surprise of the upper legislative chamber, the IGP for the third term, failed to honour its invitation .
Irked by the development , senators one after the other before going into closed door session raged over the development .
First to speak was the leader of the Senate who said the IGP by his action had put the Senate at crossroad .
He said: “Clearly, the IG is not here. I think this is very unusual and very unfortunate. I personally feel that public officers should do what is in the interest of the public and where any public officers feel he cannot do what is in the interest of the public, then there is no need for such an officer to continue to occupy that kind of office .
“This institution is now at a crossroad on this. I believe that a decision has to be taken on way forward’
In his own comment, the Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha ( PDP Taraba South), said the IGP refusal to appear before the Senate for the third time, is inexcusable, unacceptable, and condemnable and it calls for immediate action.
“This is quite a very sad moment for Nigeria, not for the parlisament, but for our democracy .It is sad, it is inexcusable, unacceptable, and condemnable and it calls for immediate action.
“ This senate needs to take very serious action on the way forward. We cannot stand this embarrassment any longer because this is a national disgrace
“I will suggest we have a closed session. I’ m moving to have a closed session or executive session to take very serious consideration on this matter”, he said .
Senator IsahMissau.(APC Bauchi Central) , also joined in condemning the IGP’s action by saying “ What the IG is doing is not against the Senate, it is against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because he is the leader of this country today. . If an appointee of the President will refuse to honour invitation of an institution, it is unfortunate.
“I think it is left for this government to decide if they have an appointee that will rubbish the image of the country.
“I think it is much unfortunate and we will have to do something, the image of the president, the image of country and the image of our democratic environment that is the institution of the parliament. This is a big embarrassment to the country.