…Says Idris not qualified to hold office in Nigeria, abroad
…Declares police chief enemy of democracy
…IGP incurs senators’ wrath for snubbing them for 4th time
For failing to honour its invitation for the fourth running time, the Senate, on Wednesday, declared the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, an enemy of democracy.
Idris was also declared unfit to hold any public office in Nigeria and outside the country, saying that it would take further action on the matter.
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, read these resolution at the resumption of plenary at about 1.14pm, exactly 50 minutes after it went into a closed door session.
The temporary adjournment at 12.24pm was to allow the senators have serious deliberation on the failure of the Inspector General of Police to honour its invitation again.
Idris have been evading calls by the upper chamber to come and brief Nigerians on the failing security and continuous killings across the country.
There was hope that the Inspector General of Police would honour the invitation following last Monday meeting by the leadership of National Assembly with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa.
Senate spokesperson, Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi, said President Buhari assured the Senate President and Speaker House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, that the IGP would appear on Wednesday.
The legislators described the IGP action as an affront, a desecration of the institution of the parliament and disgrace to Nigeria’s democracy.
Senators Ahmed Lawan, Emmanuel Bwacha, Hamman Misau and Enyinnaya Abaribe took turn to condemn the action of the IGP.
Consequent upon agreement by the whole house, the senators suspended other items of the day and went into a closed session to have a frank resolution on the embarrassing situation.
At about 12.05 pm, the Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North), had called the attention of the Senate to an item on Security Briefing by the Inspector General of Police on the spate of killings across the country and the inhuman treatment of Senator Dino Melaye upon which the Senate president asked the Clerk of the Senate to usher in Idris.
Announcement by Saraki that “I have just been informed by the Clerk that the IG is not here or anybody in his line”, opened the floor for comments by other senators.
Senator Ahmad Lawan said the matter is very unusual and also very unfortunate.
He said, “I felt public officers should do what is in the interest of the public. Wherever a public officer does not do what is in the interest of the public, then there is no need for such officer to be in that office. This institution is at a cross road in a situation where there is continuous refusal of the IG to honour our invitation”.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba North) said this is a very sad moment for Nigeria, not for the parliament alone but for democracy.
Bwacha said: “I cannot imagine that such a thing could happen. It is sad, inexcusable, and condemnable and it calls for immediate action. The Senate need to take a very serious action. We cannot stand this embarrassment any longer”.
He, thereafter, suggested a close session to discuss the issue.
“I will suggest we have a closed session. I’m moving to have a closed session or executive session to take very serious consideration on this matter, because this is a national disgrace”, he said.
Senator Hamman Isa Misau (APC, Bauchi Central) said there is problem in the leadership of the police.
He said: “On official capacity, there is no any person here that is not bigger than the IG constitutionally. Anybody here can invite the IG officially, because by the Constitution, every senator is bigger than the office of the IG.
“What the IG is doing is not against the Senate, it is against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because he is the leader today of this country. If an appointee of the President will refuse to honour invitation of an institution, it is unfortunate.
“I think it is left for this government to decide if they have an appointee that will rubbish the image of the country.
“I think it is much unfortunate and we will have to do something, the image of the president, the image of country and the image of our democratic environment that is the institution of the parliament. This is a big embarrassment to the country.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South) said Nigerian democracy is dying gradual death.
His words: “Nigerian democracy is dying little by little when people abuse governmental power. What we are seeing is that the conduct of the chief law officer is abuse of power. He has no respect for the institution of the federation of Nigeria and of himself”.
He supported Lawan that the Senate goes into a close session to talk frankly and decide not to continue taking insults. If we don’t deal with this abuse of power, we are all going to regret it”, he said.
In his short address at the resumption of plenary, Saraki said: “Distinguished colleagues, the Senate in a closed session deliberated on the non-appearance of the IGP to the Senate in plenary after a series of invitations.
“The Senate noted that this amounted to a great disrespect to the institution and constituted authority. The Senate also notes that his earlier refusal to appear before its investigative committee was overruled by a court of competent jurisdiction just in April of this year.
“The Senate therefore views his persistent refusal as a great danger to our democracy.
“Therefore, the Senate resolved to declare the IGP as an enemy of our democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria. The leadership of the Senate was also mandated to look into the matter for further necessary action”.