Senate President, Bukola Saraki kept his anger in check on Wednesday over the refusal of Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to appear before the Nigeria Senate as summoned, but in a measured tone, he reminded senators that Mr. Idris is the first IGP to snub the senate since Nigeria started practicing democracy.
Mr. Idris had on Wednesday failed for the second time to appear before the Red Chamber, sending again DIG Joshak Habila to represent him. The senators had invited him for questioning over the alleged maltreatment of their colleague, Dino Melaye while in police custody after his arrest last week and also for other killings across the country.
Mr. Saraki’s chagrin over the IGP’s misbehaviour of snubbing the senate for a second time was palpable but he held his calm as he condemned the disrespect shown to the democratic institution of the Senate by Mr. Idris.
He said, “I don’t want us to labour too much. At the upper chamber, we must show maturity and statesmanship. I don’t think anybody who has been around enough to observe the practice of our democracy knows that this action cannot be right.
“Under constitutional powers, it requires the IG to come and give a report on the incident involving a colleague and the incessant killings happening in the country. He has felt that he cannot come and wants to delegate it to a junior to come.”
Mr. Saraki however urged his colleagues to give the police chief one more week to reflect and make his appearance.
“No IG has ever refused to appear before the Senate since we started practicing democracy. I don’t think that has happened before. But we must know these actions are danger to our democracy.
“Again, we cannot say it is just to us because the President told us that he told him to go to Benue and the man refused to go to Benue and he is sitting there and he is doing this. I want to appeal to our colleagues, let us approach this in two ways.
“One way, we give him another period for him to reflect the enormity of his action because whatever happens today sets a precedence for future and as such it is important that we do not allow issues like this.
“The leader of the Senate and the Chairman on Police should engage with the executive and send our position. There are powers we can exercise which are not in the interest of us making progress in this country. Since the beginning of the year, over 500 or 600 have been killed and we believe that the man in charge of enforcing this does not think he needs to sit down with Senate to engage with us when there is something wrong somewhere.
“So let us hold and give them time within a week and come back to us and I am sure that wisdom would prevail.”
It is understood that the IGP claimed to have gone to Kaduna on an official assignment. Last Week, he also justified his non appearance with the excuse that he accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to Bauchi State – as if he is the ADC to the president. This apart, no official duty could be more important than the invitation of the Senate.
CHECKPOINTCHARLEY is disappointed that Mr. Saraki failed to order the arrest of the IGP today.
It is also frustrating that President Muhammadu Buhari is tolerating a police chief who after flaunting his order to relocate to Benue, is now damning the institution of the senate. This kind of things only happen in Nigeria!