Nigerian Senate Threatens To Arrest Police IGP Over Allegations

New police chief Ibrahim Kpotun Idris: The army has usurped the duties of the police in Nigeria

by Kemi Busari,

A Senate investigation into various allegations levelled against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris by a lawmaker, Isah Misau was postponed due to the absence of the police chief.

A Senate ad-hoc committee, which threatened to compel the IGP to appear before it, was recently constituted to investigate the allegations against Mr. Idris and had sent a letter on October 16 summoning him to appear Wednesday, November 1.

The chairman of the committee, Francis Alimikhena, Edo-APC, informed journalists that the “Inspector General has gone to court, and if he appears before the committee, it would amount to subjudice.”

Despite his submission, he added that issues for which the police boss was invited for ”were within the jurisdiction of the Senate.”

“Most of the allegations that were alleged like virement is the constitutional responsibility of the parliament and virement is not part of why they went to court. This committee was constituted before he went to court,” he said.

Mr. Alimikhena said the police boss must appear before the committee “next week Tuesday” failure of which the committee would invoke Section 89 (c and d) of the constitution.

“By section 89 c and d of the constitution, we are still going to invite the Inspector General to appear before us to answer specific questions on virement in 2016 and 2017 appropriation act and oversight function which Misau alleged. We are going to write him to appear before us on Tuesday next otherwise we will be forced to invoke the sections of the constitution.”

The sections the lawmakers would be relying on give them the power to “summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place or produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, and examine him as a witness and require him to produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, subject to all just exceptions.”

The senate can also ”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.”

Mr. Misau had stirred the hornets’ nest when he accused the police boss of not only diverting money meant for the purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers, Sports Utility Vehicles and other exotic cars but also receiving bribe to promote officers including filling the force with personnel of his Nupe ethnic tribe. He alleged police officers paid as much as N2.5 million to get special promotions and postings.

He alleged that the police failed to account for the huge billions generated from providing security for private firms and privileged individuals.

The IGP had parried the allegations and went on to accuse the senator, a former police officer, of deserting the force.

The Police Service Commission, however, in a statement shortly after the altercation said the lawmaker left the force formally.

The office of the Attorney General of the Federation had taken sides in the fray when it charged the lawmaker to court for allegedly peddling falsehood.

Mr. Misau, not deterred, recently accused the IGP of illegally donating SUVs to the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari. The police later admitted providing two vehicles for the police details of Mrs. Buhari.