15 January 2019

Nigeria: Five Times Retiring IGP Ibrahim Idris Was in the News for Wrong Reasons

Photo: The Guardian
Ibrahim Idris.

In compliance with the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Nigeria's Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris on Tuesday retired from active service after reaching the statutory retirement age of 60.

Ibrahim Idris was appointed IGP position by President Muhammadu Buhari on 21 March 2016. He replaced Solomon Arase, who retired from service after reaching age 60.

But, in his two-and-half-year reign as inspector general of police, here are five times Ibrahim Idris was in the news for wrong reasons;

Disobeying Buhari during Benue herdsmen massacre

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, 18 2018 expressed shock that Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, disobeyed his directives to move to Benue until the blood-letting between farmers and herdsmen was resolved.

Idris had reportedly spent less than 24 hours in the state before leaving. It is not known whether the president sanctioned the police for his insubordination. This drew insinuations that Buhari was not interested in the security situation in the country.

Transmission, Transmission, Transmission video, audio

The Nigerian public was sent into an unusual state of surprise when Ibrahim Idris allegedly found it difficult to read a speech placed before him at the inauguration of the Police Technical Intelligence Unit in Kano.

"I mean, transmission, I mean effort, that the transmission cooperation to transmission, I mean transmission to have effect, ehm, apprehend, I mean, apprehensive towards the recommendation, recommended formation effective and effect, I mean, apprehensive at the transmission of... and transmission and transmission for the effective in the police command," Idris said in the viral video.

A police spokesman later said the video was deliberately doctored to embarrass the police boss.

Declining summon by National Assembly over insecurity

Twice in the year 2018 - May and July, the National Assembly summoned Ibrahim Idris over cases of insecurity in the country, but he declined on both occasions, saying he was only accountable to the president Muhammadu Buhari, who is commander-in-chief of all armed forces.

Asides the farmers and herdsmen crisis in Benue State, there was also a case of the killing of 19 worshippers including two priests in a Catholic church in the Gwer East Area of Benue state, north-central Nigeria, among others.

Idris's decline to Summon of the National Assembly stirred various opinions among lawyers in the country, criticising the power of the National Assembly to summon the IGP.

Deployment of 30,000 policemen to Ekiti State for election during unrest in other states

In the buildup to the Saturday, July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti, Ibrahim Idris ordered the deployment of 30,000 policemen to the state for security purposes.

Also, a similar number of security operatives were present at the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at Eagles Square, Abuja.

Meanwhile, a day before the APC national convention, four persons including a soldier and a policeman were reportedly killed during a midnight attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Nkiendoro village in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Nigerians argued that the number of deaths recorded at those places would have been reduced if there was much security presence in Plateau, Benue and Borno States like the number of policemen deployed for the Ekiti State election.

The siege on lawmakers' residences

Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and police officers laid siege to the Abuja homes of the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu on Tuesday, July 24.

The siege happened at the time when the ruling APC sought the removal of Saraki as Senate president following his defection to PDP. The siege was rumoured to be a plan by the police and lawmakers of the APC to restrict Saraki and Ekweremadu from attending Senate plenary to effect their removal.

Saraki, who later attended the plenary, said he was not in the house when the siege took place. The siege on Ekweremadu's residence lasted until about 6:00 pm on the day.

Ibrahim Idris, however, said he did not authorise the siege and ordered a probe into the unauthorised act by the policemen.

Recently, police operatives laid an eight-day siege to Senator Dino Melaye's residence. Melaye was accused of gunrunning and sponsoring of hoodlums to disrupt peace in Kogi State after his supporters allegedly shot and wounded a police officer.

Melaye had also accused Ibrahim Idris of plotting his assassination.

"There is a plan by the IG to arrest me today and inject me to death. Men deployed already. CP Kogi and others removed. Nigerians watch out," Dino Melaye tweeted.

Police, thereafter accused Melaye of committing a defamatory offence and urged him to confess crimes levelled against him.

The police said Melaye's decision not to grant the invitation necessitated the siege which began on Friday, December 28 2018 till Friday, 4 January when the lawmaker surrendered for arrest.

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