Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate yesterday passed a vote of no confidence on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, for his refusal to appear before it for the third time.
The Red Chamber also describe him as unfit to hold any public office in the country, labelling him a threat to democracy.
Idris was summoned to explain the alleged maltreatment of Senator Dino Melaye by the force and the handling of the continued killings in different parts of the country.
When he first declined to show up a forthnight ago, the Senate Committee Chairman on Police Affairs, Abu Ibrahim, claimed that the IGP accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to Bauchi on a state visit.
He was resummoned to appear the following week. Again, Ibrahim said the IGP traveled to Kaduna State to monitor the security situation there. He promised the police boss would appear yesterday.
Disturbed by his consistent refusal to appear, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, met with Buhari on Monday to report the erring IGP.
After the meeting, Saraki told State House correspondents that the IGP would appear before lawmakers on Wednesday (yesterday).
At about 12:15pm yesterday, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, moved a motion that the IGP be ushered into the chamber by the Clerk to the Senate.
Five minutes later, the Clerk returned and informed the Senate that the IGP did not show up and did not send a representative either.
“I have just been informed that the Inspector-General of Police is not here or anybody in his team so I think we need to decide on the line of action,” Saraki who presided announced.
At this point lawmakers were raging. Lawan informed his colleagues: “For the last two days we have tried to reach the IGP to inform him that he should appear today in keeping our resolution we have done that.
“I think this is very unusual and unfortunate. I feel that a public officer should do what is in the interest of the public.”
Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha, suggested that a closed-door session be held to take a decisive action on the issue. He described the non-appearance as a national disgrace.
Enyinnaya Abaribe warned that the action of the IGP was capable of derailing the country’s democracy. He added that the refusal is an abuse of government’s powers.
Members thereafter, went into a closed-door session for about 30 minutes. Saraki announced the position of the Senate:
“The Senate in a closed session deliberated on the non-appearance of the IGP to the Senate to the plenary after a series of invitations.
“The Senate views this persistent refusal as a great danger to our democracy and hence the Senate resolved to declare IGP as an enemy of democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.
“The leader of the Senate was also mandated to look into the matter for further necessary action.”