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Melaye: IG shuns Senate invitation

Melaye: IG shuns Senate invitation

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Leke Baiyewu and Oladimeji Ramon

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, failed to appear before the Senate on Thursday. This angered the lawmakers.

The Senate had on Wednesday summoned the IGP to appear in the chamber and brief the lawmakers in plenary, on the arrest and detention of Senator Dino Melaye and the killings across Nigeria.

When the proceedings got to the briefing by the police boss, as listed on the Order Paper, the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, announced his non-appearance.

Na’Allah said, “The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) approached me this afternoon and intimated me on the fact that the Inspector-General of Police is out of town, that he is in Bauchi with Mr. President. And I don’t know what directive we will receive from our colleagues in view of this development.”

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asked the Chairman of the Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim, to make a comment.

Ibrahim said the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Joshak Habila, was around to represent the police boss.

Saraki asked the senators if the DIG should be allowed to represent the IG and they rejected his representation, insisting on the police boss’ appearance.

Na’Allah said, “By the Votes and Proceedings (of Wednesday) approved this morning, the resolution of the Senate is clear and unambiguous; that it is the person of the Inspector-General of Police that is expected to appear before the Senate.

“In as much as I would love to lay credence to the request by Senator Abu Ibrahim, I think it would not be right for us to go against the specific provisions of our Votes and Proceedings which we have approved today, to listen to any other person other than the IGP.”

Na’Allah urged the Senate to step down the briefing until the police boss was ready to appear before the lawmakers.

He said, “I am really uncomfortable that the IGP, aware of the seriousness of the invitation of the Senate, will be somewhere else to offer explanation not to be here.

“This Senate is consists of the elected representatives of the 180 million Nigerians. So, the invitation to the IGP is by these 180 million people through their representatives. The way I see the institution of democracy being treated, as a leader, I think I’m not comfortable with it. I’m not comfortable in view of the fact that I know Mr. President, and if there is any legacy he wants to leave with Nigeria, it is the enthronement of the rule of law and due process.

“It is in the best interest of those he has offered to give appointments, to understand the fact that they would be doing him more good by making themselves available and submitting themselves to the authority of the people who elected Mr. President and elected us here. All those who have been given appointments based on trust by Mr. President have a corresponding responsibility to portray Mr. President in a good manner.”

Commenting, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa asked that another date be fixed for the IGP’s appearance “and if he fails to appear, then we would know that it is an affront.”

Also, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha said “the parliament has suffered a lot of humiliation because of the system Nigeria operates.”

The Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, decried the worsening spate of insecurity in the country, which called for the invitation of the police boss.

Senator Samuel Egwu however criticised the IGP for failing to officially inform the Senate of his non-appearance in writing, while faulting Ibrahim for failing to guide the police boss to do the right thing.

Saraki, in his closing remarks, stated that he had a strong will that the “dignity and integrity” of the country’s democratic authority must be protected. He added that the lawmakers must not allow anybody to show any “disrespect or denigrate” their authority.

The Senate President decried that the police boss had yet to take a major step on the recent invasion of the Senate chamber and the snatching of the mace by suspected thugs.

He had lamented on Wednesday that several efforts by him to get the police boss for talks had failed.

The senators unanimously agreed that the IG should appear on Wednesday by 10am.

Meanwhile, a coalition of social crusaders, Enough Is Enough, has said it will be on the ground in Kogi State on Saturday to monitor the verification of signatures in the ongoing recall process of Melaye as the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District.

Its Executive Director, Ms. ‘Yemi Adamolekun, said on Thursday that the group had got the Independent National Electoral Commission’s accreditation to monitor the process.

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