The Senate yesterday passed a resolution declaring the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris as ‘enemy of democracy’ and unfit to hold public office in Nigeria and abroad.
The resolution was passed after a 50-minute closed session on the refusal of the police boss to appear before the Senate over the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi) and killings in some parts of the country.
The Senate had summoned the IGP on three occasions, but he snubbed the lawmakers. Yesterday was the third time fixed for the IG’s appearance but he stayed away.
Unlike the two previous occasions, the IG did not send a representative yesterday. Previously, he had sent the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Habila Joshak.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, who read the resolutions taken at the closed door session, said the IGP’s conduct was a gross disrespect to constituted authority.
“The Senate therefore view this persistent refusal as a great danger to our democracy and hence the Senate resolved to declare the IG as an enemy of democracy and not fit to occupy any public office within and outside Nigeria. The leader of the Senate was also mandated to look into the matter for further necessary action,” he said.
The Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) described the non appearance of the IG as unfortunate and unusual.
“I personally feel that public officers should do what is in the interest of the public and where any public officers 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.
“But in a situation where there is consistent non-appearance by the IG, I don’t think it will make any further sense to continue to extend invitation until the Senate takes a different decision to make the situation better,” he said.
Reps threaten to suspend police budget
Some members of the House of Representatives yesterday said they might engineer the process of suspending the capital and overhead components of the Nigeria Police Force budget due to the ‘nonchalant attitude’ of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris towards the Senate.
Should the IGP continue to disobey the legislature, they would suspend consideration of police budget in the ongoing 2018 budget process.
One of the lawmakers said, “We can’t tolerate this. The IGP is not above the law. The National Assembly has powers to summon anybody in the country, including the president.
“Remember, just some weeks back, we resolved to invite the president on the issue of insecurity, so who is the IG? Is he not just an appointee of the president?” the lawmaker, who did not want to be named, said.
Another lawmaker said, “You know we have the power of appropriation, and the police budget is still with us, being part of the national budget undergoing consideration in the National Assembly.
“One of the tools we use to ensure compliance to our invitations and summons is through budget. If they think they have powers to do what they want, we have powers of appropriation.
“I remember the case of Aruma Oteh of SEC when we refused to approve her budget. We’re not unaware of the security implications, but it’s a tool we can use to force the IGP to appear before the Senate or even the House if need be,” the lawmaker said.