The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has again snubbed the Nigerian Senate as he is about to be represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Joshak Habila, for his appearance before the Senate over the maltreatment of Senator Dino Melaye by the Nigeria Police during his arrest and detention last week.
Based on an information by a reliable national Assembly source, CHECKPOINTCHARLEY had earlier reported that Mr. Idris was been grilled by senators behind closed doors at the National Assembly.
But it later emerged that the IGP is being represented by the DIG, who was, as at the time of filing this report, waiting to be called into the Senate chamber at the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters ( Senate), Senator Ita Enang.
Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan later announced that the IGP was unavailable. He said, the IGP had gone to Kaduna on an official assignment.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Abu Ibrahim confirmed that a letter of invitation was extended to him when asked to explain.
Deputy Senate leader, Bala Ibn’Nallah expressed disappointment, saying he regretted the embarrassment IGP’s conduct was bringing to the Senate.
“Mr. President, I’m really shocked. I lack what to say, but I wish to apologise for what happened. ”
“We need to assist my President because the way things are going, it’s quite embarrassing. Senate is aware of its powers.”
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki urged lawmakers to exercise patience over the matter. He tasked the Committee on Police Affairs to ensure the appearance of IGP at a later date.
“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,” he said.
He noted that no police IG has ever refused to appear before the senate since Nigeria started practising democracy.
The Senate President advised his colleagues to give the police boss 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.”