Fred Itua and Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Twenty fours after the Senate declared the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris as unfit to hold any public office, the upper legislative chamber has again told the police boss to come clean on insecurity.
It admonished him to stop holding on to straw on why he refused to comply with the invitation to come and explain the effort of the police to halt the spate of killings across the country.
In a statement by its spokesman, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate denied that the decision to summon the IG was informed by the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye.
“Let it be known that the IGP by trying to reduce the reason for his invitation by the Senate to the arrest of Sen. Dino Melaye is simply holding on to straw. The issue of Sen. Melaye’s arrest has been overtaken by events. The courts are already handling the related cases. Our main concern is the security crisis across the country where people are being killed in scores on daily basis.
“The primary responsibility of the Police is maintenance of law and order as well as protection of lives and property. If there is a breach along the line of this responsibility, we do not see why the IGP should feel he cannot be invited to offer explanation to the arm of government which is constitutionally empowered to ask questions and investigate the breach.
Abdullahi said Idris should not seek to confuse issues or play on the intelligence of members of the public with his diversionary statement or claims.
The Representatives also backed the Senate. Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, who spoke with Daily Sun during the opening of the 2018 first ordinary session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, wondered why the police chief should snub an invitation extended to him for an oversight function.
“How can you invite an Inspector General of Police to come for an oversight by the National Assembly and the man refused bluntly to come. Who does he think he is?” Lasun asked.
“There is no pure explanation. It is just pure grandstanding and lack of understanding of what representative democracy is all about.”
However, the police authorities have vowed to challenge the summon.
Speaking on a live television programme, yesterday, Commissioner of Police (Legal), Force Headquarters, Mr. David Igbodo, declared: “That declaration, we are going to challenge it (in court). We want the court to interpret whether each time the IGP is invited to appear before the National Assembly (NASS), whether he must, as a matter of fact, appear in person.”
Idris was first summoned on April 25; rather than appear, he sent a DIG to represent him at the Senate, noting that he was on an official assignment in Bauchi with President Muhammadu Buhari. On May 2, he again failed to honour summon.
Defending his principal, Igbodo explained that the IGP acted in accordance with the law by delegating the DIG to represent him in an official capacity.
“Official functions of the IGP can be performed by the DIG or the Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs). So why are they insisting that it must be the IGP to appear in person?
“What is personal about it? The facts are known to the DIG (Operations). The facts are known to all the DIGs. They are expected to brief the NASS, why are they making it personal?”
CP Igbodo further accused the Senators of making the issue personal, wondering why the police chief cannot assign another senior officer on official assignments.