9 November 2017

Nigeria: IGP Appears Before Senate, Refuses to Answer Question

he Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, yesterday appeared before a Senate panel probing the allegations levelled against him by Senator Isah Hamma Misau (APC, Bauchi) but said he would not answer any question.

The panel chairman Senator Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo) had, after introducing the members of the panel, asked the IGP to speak, saying "The allegations are too weighty to be swept under the carpet."

But the IGP's lawyer, Alex A. Izinyon (SAN), who sat beside his client, said "I will like to announce my appearance." The panel chairman asked the lawyer: "Are you the IGP?"

At this moment, the IGP said: "I will not make any oral comment or answer any question in respect of the allegations in view of the various civil and criminal cases pending in the law courts.

"More especially when the senator has already been arraigned in court in respect of this matter. I decided to appear before this Senate Committee on the allegations out of high respect I have for the Senate and my respect for the rule of law.

"Furthermore, it is expected that the Senate and the Committee will refrain from making references to the issues as it will be against Order 41 (7) and 53 (5) of the Senate Standing Orders 2 (15) as amended."

Also, his lawyer told the panel that they have responded to the allegations in documents submitted to it, insisting that his client has nothing to hide.

Responding, Alimikhena said the committee was constituted before the IGP went to the court and that, "in other words the court is interfering with the committee's job."

A member of the panel, Senator Hope Uzodinma, told the lawyer that the Senate was not a court of law, saying if the Senate had issued an arrest warrant against the IGP, he must bring himself. However, Senator Obinna Ogba suggested that the committee "should go and study the documents submitted by the IGP and if need be we can invite him again."

The prayer was accepted by the panel.

In his closing remark, Alimikhena said "We are not begging you, you must come if we invite you again."

Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, commended the committee, adding, "We appreciate the adjournment, it would enable us to pursue the multi door options to settle the issue."

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