The Sun News

IGP, prepare for tough Senate probe

Have you been away? Did you go on a vacation and could not access the Internet? Maybe you were ill, got admitted and was out of reach? We’re you unable to access the social media? Do not worry. I will update you. While you were away, ‘plenty water pass garri’.

In the last two months, many Nigerians have not visited the cinemas. Who will spend money to watch movie in Buhari’s era, when the President and his appointees now provide comic reliefs? 

President Buhari returned from the United Kingdom after three months and Nigerians are yet to be told what played out. Nnamdi Kanu’s house was ‘attacked’ by soldiers and his whereabouts are still unknown. 

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Maikanti Baru, washed their dirty secrets outside, when the former accused the latter of approving a whopping $26 billion worth of contracts without following due process. 

As I speak, the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, President Buhari is yet to speak. Yes, we are still waiting for the proverbial ‘Goddot’. If we are lucky, Buhari may tell his ‘Dear Citizens’ (like he often refers to us during his national broadcast) what really transpired. You see? A lot happened while you were probably away.

I needed to wet your appetite. That is not the ‘koko’ of my column this week. Senator Isah Hamman Misau is my man of the moment. I am not his big fan. He snubs journalists and insists that you secure an appointment before even getting enquiries. For these reasons, I do not admire him. But right now, I cannot ignore him.

The Bauchi-born lawmaker is going ballistic. He has unleashed his arsenal on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris. While Nigerians are yet to digest one scandal, Misau releases another.

Every week, Misau unveils a new episode. Sometimes, the contents of the movie are too weighty to be digested easily. And for Misau, it is a no retreat, no surrender battle. Sadly for the IGP, Nigerians appear to have taken sides.

Trouble started in August, when Misau claimed that police officers paid bribes to get favourable postings and promotions. But the Police hierarchy, through the Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, dismissed the claims as unfounded and that he was only out to discredit the institution. 

Jimoh also alleged that Senator Misau deserted the Force and would soon be declared wanted to respond to a disciplinary committee set up to probe him. While the first ballistic missile was yet to sink in, Misau thundered again. This time, his claims shutdown the social media. Newspapers were adorned with the stories. Television and radio stations could not resist the urge not to entertain their audience. It was a reality show. All through the month of September, Misau and the Force spokesman, Moshood became regular guests of major national television stations. Misau kept the narrative going. The more the Force headquarters defended the IGP, the more daring Misau became. While this played out, Baba Buhari kept a loud silence. Yes, he is still maintaining that silence.

Misau in one of his media briefings, said the Force under IGP Idris is a cesspool of corruption, nepotism, indiscipline, favouritism and lowest level of morale that must not be allowed to continue in the interest of the ongoing anti-corruption war and urgent need to stem the tide of increasing rate of crime and criminality in the country. 

“The incumbent IGP based on available records and series of petitions and reports from insiders, has no capacity to run the police just like the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, IGP Mike Okiro (Rtd), who also lacks similar capacity going by N300 million scam and others hanging on his neck since 2011 during the presidential primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where he served as the head of the security committee,” Misau had noted.

He wondered how such a Commissioner of Police, who according to him, served the former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha as ADC before moving to Goodluck Jonathan in similar capacity when he was made governor, to the time he was vice president, acting president and an elected president, lead war against crime and criminality in a state in high need of intelligence gathering.

In early October, Misau went to his reservoir. This time, he went over the roof. He alleged that the Police chief had impregnated and had married a female police officer, which he said, was against the rule of the Police Service.

Misau said the lady in question had since been promoted, despite her lack of qualification for the new rank. He also claimed that the said female police officer was already four months pregnant for the IGP, when he hurriedly arranged a marriage ceremony in Kaduna State. Suddenly, the unthinkable happened. Misau, who became the new anti-corruption poster boy, was dragged to court by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, on behalf of the Federal Government. Can you imagine?  Among the allegations by Misau which government considered as injurious to the IGP and the NPF, was the claim that police officers allegedly paid as much as N2.5 million to get special promotion and posting through the Police Service Commission. Also is the claim by the lawmaker of IGP’s alleged act of diverting money meant for the purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers, Sport Utility Vehicles and other exotic cars as well as IGPs posting of almost half of his Nupe people as mobile commanders in the country. The latest outburst from Misau is a claim that the IGP, at the behest of the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, bought two jeeps for her. At first, the claims were too enormous to be true. But the Force spokesman Moshood has now confirmed that two vehicles were donated to Mrs Buhari’s office. Meanwhile, the IGP, despite the humongous allegations, is still fully in charge. But unknown to him, the Senate will be brutal when and if he finally appears before its probe committee. Yes, he has approached a court to stop his summon. But in the real sense of it, no court which is a creation of the law, can stop the parliament from summoning any government official.

Beyond the face-off between Misau and IGP, let me bring you to speed on certain unforgivable sins Idris recently committed against some ranking senators. On April 20, the police, acting on the orders of the IGP, raided the Asokoro home of Senator Danjuma Goje, chairman of Appropriation committee. According to Goje, 18 files, including the 2017 budget, were carted away.

The operation was initially assumed to be that of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), until it was discovered that it was carried out by the police.

The senator also disclosed then that the sum of N18 million, $19,000 and 4,000 Saudi Riyals were found and taken away from his home by the police. Despite series of threats to sanction the IGP, he did not budge. For over one week, he did not return the documents. Instead, it became a media war. He reluctantly returned the files when the House of Representatives threatened to investigate how he expended the 2016 budget of the Force.

Police, again, acting on the instructions of the IGP, in May, carried out a search on the Abuja official guest house of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

Shamed by the backlash, the Force hurriedly arraigned a 50-year-old man, Ahmed Echodo, for allegedly misleading the police to conduct a raid on a building belonging to Ekweremadu.

The records are there that the IGP has not been a good friend of the Senate. Rather than play cool, he picked up a fight with the wrong man, Misau. The lawmaker was Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), before he voluntarily retired in 2010. His late father was also a retired Assistant-Inspector General of Police. 

For such a man, when he speaks on the rot in the Force, you should listen. Misau, until this comedy show started, was seldom known in the Senate. He was in the class of bench warmers. Not that he lacked the courage to speak. He just did not see the need.

In fact, he was reportedly attacked by his constituents when he visited home last year. But the IGP has unwittingly created a superstar from a relatively known senator. The vehicle has left the bus stop and the IGP can no longer control the outcome of this Senate probe. Politicians do not forgive or forget easily. When you offend them, there is always a payback day. IGP Idris will face the full wrath of senators when he appears. Books will be opened and his sins will be listed. 

Like the suspended Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, a damning report will be forwarded to the President on IGP Idris. If he is lucky, Buhari, like it has become his forte, will look the other way. But if the President suddenly jumps up from his slumber and wants to salvage his wobbling anti-corruption war, Idris will be sacrificed and prosecuted.

In the end, Misau will win, the Senate will win and IGP will be left in the cold. Next time, maybe Idris will pick his fights wisely.

One more thing

...Abaribe again

Last week in this column, I wrote a brief piece on Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, entitled ‘bad market for Senator Abaribe’. Interestingly, the writeup generated some mixed reactions. Political ‘enemies’ of the senator, were quick to feast on it. But for his supporters, the claims were misleading and injurious.

Check out an excert from the piece…”If you are a prayer warrior, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe needs your intervention. He was one of those who signed the bail conditions of the missing leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. As I write this, wardens at the popular Kuje Federal Prison, maybe putting finishing touches to Abaribe’s special bed space, if he is unable to produce Kanu in court next month.” For those who rushed to the bank to make some quick political withdrawal, relax! Do not be in a hurry. Abaribe may have signed the bail bond, but his freedom is not in jeopardy. In the coming weeks, all parties involved will return to court.

While the court may still insist that those who stood as sureties for Kanu must produce him, Abaribe and others will pass the ball to the Nigerian Government which sanctioned the invasion of the home of Kanu. For now, no one can tell where the pendulum will swing. Kuje Prisons maybe out of the question for now. Sit back and watch events unfold.

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