Due to failure of Nigerian leaders to build strong institutions, the Nigeria Police on Friday had the audacity to admonish the Senate over the Dino Melaye saga, giving a flimsy reason why Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, failed to honour the summons by the Red Chamber.
Mr. Idris, in a statement by the police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, cautioned senators not to trivialise the travails of their colleague, Melaye.
In the statement, Mr Moshood claimed the police would always obey the laws, explaining that Mr. Idris was on an official assignment in Bauchi on the day he was summoned by the Senate and, therefore, sent his deputy to represent him as stated in police laws.
The statement read partly, “The Nigeria Police Force is a law abiding organization and holds the Senate and its leadership in high esteem,” he said. “However the Force wishes to impress on the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria not to personalise or trivialise the criminal offenses (Criminal Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms and other sundry offenses) indicting Sen. Dino Melaye from confessions of two (2) suspected kidnappers and Armed Robbers namely: Kabiru Saidu a.k.a Osama and Nuhu Salisu a.k.a Small; but should allow the rule of law and justice to prevail.
“The functions, duties and responsibilities of the Inspector General of Police as listed in Section 215 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can also be carried out as mentioned in section 312 (1) of the Police Act and Regulation by a senior officer of the Force of the Rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police and Assistant Inspector General of Police who if permitted by the Inspector General of Police to act on his behalf or represent him in official capacity at any function, event or programme within and outside Nigeria can do so in consonant with the provisions of the Police Act and Regulation.
“It is on the basis of the above that while the Inspector General of Police is on an official assignment in Bauchi State that he delegated the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations to represent him and honour the invitation of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria in respect of the felonious offenses for which Sen. Dino Melaye was taken into Police custody, investigated and to be arraigned in the Federal High Court, Lokoja without further delay.
“Consequently, the general public are hereby implored to note that the Inspector General of Police acted rightly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Police Act and Regulation and other extant laws by delegating the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations to represent him at the Senate, National Assembly today 26th April, 2018 to present the Police report, actions and findings in a case of Criminal Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms and other sundry offenses indicting Senator Dino Melaye.”
However, the law abiding Police Force was silent in the statement on whether or not Mr Idris would appear before the Senate on May 2, the day the lawmakers fixed for him after rejecting his representative.
Recall that the Nigerian Senate asked Mr. Idris to appear before it on Wednesday to explain the alleged rough treatment meted out to Senator Melaye by police operatives after he was arrested.
CHECKPOINTCHARLEY finds the refusal of the police boss to honour the senate summons as an insult to our democracy. And to add salt to injury, he claimed that he was prevented by an official assignment. What in the world could be more official than an invitation by the senate in a democracy? Its like the head of FBI or CIA refusing to honour the invitation of congress. He will be sacked immediately.
Unfortunately, different standards are applied in Nigeria, whose institutions had been deliberately weakened by failed leaders blinded by clannishness, ethnicity and self-service.
Senate President Bukola Saraki should be encouraged to order the arrest of Mr. Idris should he fail to appear on Wednesday. Heavens would not fall! Only Idris would fall! The time has come for us as a people to test this our so-called democracy.