Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The hide-and-seek between the Senate and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has taken a legal dimension, with a suit by the latter challenging his summons by the Senate.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/ 457/2018, the police boss is seeking an injunctive order of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court restraining the Senate and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, their assigns, agents or any committees from insisting that he must appear before the upper legislative chamber in person, to the exclusion of any of his subordinate officers.
Meanwhile, the legal team to the Senate President, in a counter-affidavit, accused the IGP of using the court to avoid honouring the invitation.
On why he could not honour the Senate’s invitation in person, the IGP said he had been directed by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to be among the presidential entourage embarking on a two-day official trip to Bauchi State and, therefore, on the said April 26, 2018, he was in Bauchi State on the presidential directive.
“That as a result of the above development, he then directed and delegated the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, an Assistant Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State, who had adequate knowledge of the two subject matters, which the Senate required briefing, to appear before the Senate on April 26, 2018 on his behalf,” the suit explained.
However, the plaintiff told the court that the Senate refused the appearance of the aforesaid officers.
Besides, Idris, in the suit filed by his counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, urged the court to declare that the letters inviting him by the Senate dated April 25, 2018, and April 26, 2018, relating to pending criminal proceedings against Senator Dino Melaye in court of law was beyond its powers under Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution and same is contrary to the Senate Standing Order, 2015 and the provision of Section 6(6) (b) of the 1999 Cconstitution, and therefore null, void and of no effect.
The IGP said by the said letter clearly showed that the Senate was aware that Melaye was facing criminal charges in court and that he was not answerable to the Senate.