CHECKPOINTCHARLEY has read with disbelief the submission of some senior lawyers on the issue of the misbehaviour of Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris over his refusal to honour the summons of the Nigerian Senate.
The truth of the matter remains that the Nigerian Senate can order the arrest of Mr. Idris for ignoring its summons pursuant to Section 89 (d) of the Nigerian Constitution.
Sec.89(d) stipulates: the senate can “issue a warrant to compel the attendance of any person who, after having been summoned to attend, fails, refuses or neglects to do so and does not excuse such failure, refusal or neglect to the satisfaction of the House or the committee in question, and order him to pay all costs which may have been occasioned in compelling his attendance or by reason of his failure, refusal or neglect to obey the summons, and also to impose such fine as may be prescribed for any such failure, refused or neglect; and any fine so imposed shall be recoverable in the same manner as a fine imposed by a court of law.”
The use of the words: “any person” is a clear indication that the law intends to make no exception. To argue that the IGP does not fall into that phrase, would be to say that he is above the law, which he is not.
Paragraph 2 of that subsection added: “A summons or warrant issued under this section may be served or executed by any member of the Nigeria Police Force or by any person authorized in that behalf by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may require.”
With the authority of this, any member of the Nigerian Police Force, who had sworn an oath to uphold the law of the Land, can legitimately arrest IGP, Idris. At that point seniority is no longer material because the law is supreme. Put differently, the law (constitution for that matter) takes precedence.
This therefore rubbishes the views of some senior lawyers who say that the Senate cannot order Mr. Idris arrest because, according to them, “he cannot arrest himself.” If their viewpoint represents the law, which fortunately it does not, it therefore means that the IGP would be untouchable even if he decides to commit mass murder today.
However, the truth remains that a government appointee cannot shun the institution of the Senate without the backing of his principal. President Muhammadu Buhari has again proven his critics right that he is not a democrat and has no interest in the deepening of our democracy. His silence over the matter further exposes his support for the IGP.
Mr. Buhari has also sadly condoned the vituperation poured on the National Assembly by some of his aides. If the Nigerian people decided that clowns should represent them at the legislature, so be it. The wish of the people has to be respected at all times in a democracy. Whether, we like it or not, attacks on senators by appointees, who don’t even have a mandate, are attacks on the people they represent – The Nigerian People.
A cross section of the media has also unwisely given Mr. idris a platform to deliberate his senate summons. The law does not support such deliberation. The action of Mr Idris does not only ridicule our democracy, it threatens it.
By virtue of section 88 of the Constitution, the Senate has the constitutional power to summon anybody in Nigeria including the president.
Now the time has come for us to either uphold our democracy or burn it. CHECKPOINTCHARLEY therefore urge Senate President, Bukola Saraki to show great moral and courage by ordering the arrest of Mr. Idris.
Anything less tantamount to cowardice and unhelpful refusal to put our democracy to test. Declaring him persona non grata and unfit to hold public office falls short of what is expected of you, Mr. Senate President!
The IGP is not above the law! Nobody is in a democracy!! Not even President Buhari!!!