Nigerian Police IG calls Senate's bluff, says 'I owe you no apologies'

Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris

During the first summons, Idris delegated a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) to represent him, saying he was on a two-day visit with President Muhammadu Buhari to Bauchi.

"He added that the Senators resolved to declare the IGP as an enemy of democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria".

The police had earlier absolved the IGP of blames, stressing that he is not an enemy of democracy as declared by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.

He called the Senate action against Idris "deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting with mischievous motives to hand-twist the IGP [inspector general police] to pervert the end of justice in the felonious and serious offenses of Criminal Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms" of Melaye, whose fugitive exploits have made headlines in recent weeks.

Rising from a closed-door session that lasted about an hour, the Senate disclosed that the IGP's conduct "amounted to a great disrespect to the legislature and to constituted authority".

The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday described the Senate's declaration of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, as incompetent and unfit to hold public office, as laughable.

Refuting the claims that the Police IG was summoned because of the arrest of Dino, the Senate said matters concerning Melaye's arrest had been overtaken by events.

The Senate had invited Idris to appear on the floor of the upper legislative chamber to give explanations on the alleged callous treatment being meted out on their colleague, Senator Dino Melaye, by his men. I think this is very unusual and very unfortunate.

"Let it be known that the IGP by trying to reduce the reason for his invitation by the Senate to the arrest of Sen".

"He said if the Chief Law Officer can not obey the law of the land how do you now say to other people who are miscreants should obey the law", he said. "And where any public officers can not do this, there is no need for such to continue to occupy that kind of office". "This is a national disgrace", he said.

He noted that the legislature has come to a "crossroads" and a "decision" must be taken.

Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba) said it was a sad moment for democracy.

Idris was asked to attend the senate plenary today, May 9. It is inexcusable, unacceptable and condemnable, and calls for immediate action. We can not stand this embarrassment any longer. "The Nigeria Police Force is the first defender of Democracy and all democratic institutions in Nigeria and will continue to do so", the statement read in part.