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IGP must appear on Wednesday - Saraki

The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris who was billed to appear before the Senate yesterday to brief the lawmakers at plenary on the ordeal of Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, APC Kogi West, in the hands of the Police on alleged illegal possession of ammunition, shunned the upper chamber.

 

The IGP, who failed to appear, was said to have travelled with President Muhammadu Buhari on a visit to Bauchi State. He was, however, re-summoned to appear next Wednesday at 11am. Meanwhile, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said yesterday that the dignity and Integrity of the Senate must be protected, and that the IGP must appear on Wednesday at plenary.

 

The obviously angry Saraki said:  “Distinguished colleagues, we have taken the contributions and the general consensus is that we give a specific date,  Wednesday, May 2, 2018, for the IG of Police to appear. "But as we do that, I take a cue from the comments of the leader which I have strong views on.  The dignity and integrity of our democratic authority, we must protect it and we must not allow anybody to show any disrespect or desecrate that authority.

 

“As I said to you the other day, and I’m sure Senator Abu Ibrahim will confirm, neither Senator Abu Ibrahim nor myself has received any response from the IG of Police in the last 48 hours. Sending his DIG here today is not respectful enough. He should have had the respect of this institution to reach the chairman or myself to explain. We have all been chief executives. If Mr President is going to Bauchi to commission a project, he is only accompanying the President. If he had said to Mr President, with the killings that are going on it is important that I go to parliament, I am very sure that Mr. President will say, IG that is more important, go to the parliament.

 

“This is the point we are making about those who are appointed, who are creating more problems. “Someone said to me, if a former Minster suspended by the President breaks into the council chambers at the Villa and does some kind of mischief, will the IG of Police not feel he need to report to the President on what actions had been taken? This cannot be the kind of democratic setting we expect. As you have rightly said, we must ensure that things are done properly. We give him until  Wednesday,  11am to come here to explain to us what is happening in this country regarding these killings, what do we need to do collectively to bring an end to this killings; what challenges are there; and why are we having these issues? I don’t think there is anything more important today than these issues. So let us wait till when he comes on Wednesday to address that so that we can find a way forward on this matter.” 

 

Earlier, senators who spoke on the issue were visibly angry that the Police boss refused to intimate the Senate of his non-appearance through a letter. The non appearance of Idris was, however, disclosed to the Senate through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters( Senate), Senator Ita Enang who had earlier informed the deputy Senate leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah. Senator Bala Na’allah drew the attention of the Senate to the fact that the IGP was out of town and in Bauchi with Mr. President.

 

He added:  “That being said, the legacy in this Institution goes a long way into the future and as such, it is wrong that he did not inform us of his inability to be here today. “I see no reason the IGP cannot be here as this displays a wrong foundation for our democratic system.”  The Senate refused to listen to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, Habila Joshak, who represented the Inspector General of Police, even as it was informed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim, APC, Katsina South, that the DIG would stand in for the IGP. In his contribution, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, PDP, Abia North said, By  Wednesday, the IGP must appear before the Senate.” 

 

On his part, Deputy Senate Minority leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha Taraba said, “This is not a military regime, this is a democracy. We do not treat each arm of Government as independent as we should in a democracy. This is why we are where we are today.”

 

Also contributing, Senate Minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio said, “The IGP should brief us in a joint session. There are other issues outside of Senator Dino’s arrest that the IGP has to brief us on as well.” On his part, Senator Sam Egwu, PDP, Ebonyi said, “The IG will not accompany Mr. President to come here. The IG of Police is ignoring Summons.”

 

It will be recalled that the Senate had  on Wednesday  summoned the Inspector- General of Police to appear before it    yesterday, just as the police boss was to also brief the Senate on the recent killings that have become daily occurrences    and remained unabated. Resolution to summon the Inspector General of Police to appear before the Senate yesterday was sequel to a motion moved by Senator Sam Anyanwu ( PDP Imo    East).

 

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