Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, is an enemy of democracy and is unfit to hold public office anywhere in the world, the Senate declared on thursday.
The legislative chamber arrived at the damning proclamation, following the IGP’s failure to honour its invitations – thrice in the last one month.
It had wanted Ibrahim Idris to provide information on the growing cases of killings across the country and also explain the alleged inhuman treatment meted out to Senator Dino Melaye.
The action of the IGP will be seen as a slap in the face of a federal legislature struggling to bolster its reputation among Nigerians.
Rising from a closed-door session that lasted about an hour, the Senate disclosed that the IGP’s conduct “amounted to a great disrespect to the legislature and to constituted authority.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki, who announced the submission, said: “The Senate noted that his (IGP) earlier refusal to appear before our investigative committee was overruled by a court of competent jurisdiction just in April this year.
“The Senate views his persistent refusal as a great danger to our democracy. The Senate has, therefore, resolved to declare the IGP an enemy of our democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.”
He added that the leadership of the Senate has been mandated to look into the matter, preparatory to “further necessary action.”
At its debate on the matter, last week, the Senate resolved to lodge its grievance with the president. Pursuant to this, Saraki, accompanied by the House of Representatives’ Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, visited President Muhammadu Buhari last Monday.
It was learnt that Buhari assured the National Assembly leaders the IGP, Ibrahim Idris would be made to honour the invitation, a reason the Senate scheduled the matter on its Wednesday Order Paper.
When the time arrived for the IGP to appear, the Senate Clerk, Nelson Ayewoh, was asked to lead him in. But two minutes later, Ayewoh returned to the chamber without the IGP. At this point, Saraki told his colleagues the IGP had again refused to honour the invitation and declared that the Senate must decide on a line of action.
Senators took turns to condemn the IGP’s action. Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, told his colleagues: “Personally, I made attempts to call his line and I sent text messages that he should call me as soon as he was able to see my message.
“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 cannot do this, there is no need for such to continue to occupy that kind of office.”
He noted that the legislature has come to a “crossroads” and a “decision” must be taken. “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 invitations until the Senate takes a different decision to make the situation better,” he said.
Senator Enyinnanya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South) described the IGP’s action as an indication democracy in Nigeria is gradually dying. The refusal amounts to total disrespect for Buhari who is the head of government and chief law enforcer, he said.
Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha, said: “It is sad. It is inexcusable, unacceptable and condemnable, and calls for immediate action. This Senate needs to take very serious action on the way forward. We cannot stand this embarrassment any longer. This is a national disgrace.”
Reacting via a statement, yesterday, pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), urged the National Assembly to amend sections of the constitution and the Police Act, to stop inspectors general from clogging the wheels of democratic governance.
HURIWA said the extant provisions of the constitution, which concede the powers of dismissal to the National Police Council and the discretion of the president are the reasons Idris has consistently disrespected invitations by parliament to provide clarifications on national security issues.
“The National Assembly must stop complaining and whining like school children but should invoke their powers of alteration of the constitution in accordance with Section 9 of the Nigerian constitution,” HURIWA said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police, yesterday, cautioned applicants undergoing screening for the 6,000-recruit positions not to offer bribes to any officer or individual.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (Logistics and Supply), Maigari Abbati Dikko, gave the warning while inspecting the exercise in Kano.
Maigari, who disclosed that police jobs are not for sale, said measures have been deployed to ensure transparency, warning that anyone in breach would be disqualified.
In another development, Borno State Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, commended residents of the Polo GRA area of the state for foiling suicide bomb attacks on a mosque in the early hours of yesterday.
Wary worshippers had raised the alarm after sighting two suspicious females who eventually detonated explosives strapped to their bodies, killing no one else.