By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has for the second time dared the Senate as he shunned the Senate’s summon to appear before it, to explain the inhuman treatment of Senator Dino Melaye over a matter that is pending before a competent law court, as well as the killings across the country.
During yesterday’s plenary proceedings, presided over by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, moved the motion urging the Senate to allow the IGP to enter the plenary chamber to brief the lawmakers, which was seconded by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba).
To this end, the Senate President directed the Clerk of the Senate to bring into the chamber, the IGP. However, the Clerk went out and came back into the chamber, reporting that the IGP was not in the National Assembly, according to the information obtained from the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly, Ita Enang.
Sequel to this, the Senate President directed the Chairman of the Police Affairs Committee, Abu Ibrahim, to brief the Senate on his interaction with the IGP, based on the mandate given to him last week.
Recall that Abu Ibrahim was last week directed to inform the IGP that the Senate will not accept a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) to brief the Senate on the matter they wanted to discuss with him, and had, therefore, given him a fresh deadline of yesterday.
Briefing the Senate therefore, Senator Abu Ibrahim said since last week, he has not been able to reach the Police Inspector General, adding that his enquiries revealed that the IGP is in Kaduna, from where he will go to Birnin Gwari, where there was killings recently.
When the Senate President called for contributions, to the shock of observers around, the senators were not ready to talk as they looked dejected and disappointed, apparently owing to the consecutive disregards to the Hallowed Senate chamber by the IGP.
Shortly, after some minutes of silence, the senator representing Kebbi North on APC platform, Bala Ibn N’Allah, broke the silence, when he started by commending the senate for recognizing the fact that there is serious need to invite the IGP.
He said Section 88(1) of the Constitution, Section 1,(2a), and 89(c), empower the senate to summon anybody, recalling that the same IGP had gone to court to challenge the powers of the Senate to summon the IGP, where he was proved wrong and told to go and face the senate.
He said the issues the senate wanted to discuss with the IGP are specific to his office, being the chief internal security officer of the country. He said the IGP is the person that has the information the senate is seeking on the killings across the country to help the senators know how to assist the President to curb the killings.
He said the Senate should send a delegation to be led by the Senate President to meet the President to register the Senate’s displeasure over the continued disregards of the red chamber by the IGP.
N’Allah lamented that from the foregoing, it is clear that there are some occupants of public offices who are not capable and who lack the requirements to occupy such offices, adding that the senate will not be discouraged from assisting President Muhammadu Buhari in his efforts to secure the country and bring peace to the nation.
In his ruling, Saraki emphasized on the need for the senators to show maturity and statesmanship in the face of provocation, but said anybody who witnesses what has happened will agree that the action of the IGP is not right.
He lamented that the IGP feels that he should not come but sent his junior officer to come, pointing out that he cannot recall that any IGP has ever refused to appear before the senate, especially at plenary, which he described as a danger to democracy.
According to him, over six hundred people have been killed since the beginning of the year, and an officer of government who is saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties of Nigerians has refused to meet with the senate to discuss the way out.
He, however, recalled that it is not a surprise to him especially considering that President Buhari had narrated how he told the same IGP to go to Benue but he refused to go.
While he express the confidence that the bosses to the IGP, including the President and the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, whom he said is knowledgable about the law, will not condone the IGP’s disregards to the Senate, especially as they work had to assist the executive.
Meanwhile, he directed that the Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Abu Ibrahim, should meet the executive over the matter and report back to the senate on another legislative date.