The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Wednesday accused Nigerian senators of trying to blackmail him into perverting the course of justice.
Mr Idris, who refused to honour two previous summons by the Senate, said he declined appearing for a third time Wednesday because he found no reason to do so, having learnt that the invitation was “a deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting, unfortunate and mischievous” on the part of senators.
The Senate on Wednesday afternoon proclaimed Mr Idris an “enemy of democracy” who is “unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.”
The IG had failed to appear before the Senate on two previous occasions after lawmakers asked him to come explain the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye and the ongoing killings in the country.
Idris has repeatedly said he will not honour the invitation, citing sections of the Constitution and extant police statutes that appear to support his stance.
“In accordance with the extant laws in Nigeria, the functions, duties and responsibilities of the Inspector General of Police as stated in Section 215(1a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, and the Police Act and Regulations Section 309(1) can also be carried out as mentioned in sections 7(1),312(1), 313(2) of the Police Act and Regulations by a senior officer of the Force of the Rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police or an Assistant Inspector General of Police who if permitted by the Inspector General of Police to act on his behalf or represent him in an official capacity at any official function, event or programme within and outside Nigeria can do so in consonant with the provisions of the Police Act and Regulations,” Mr Idris said Wednesday night in a statement signed by police spokesperson, ACP Jimoh Moshood.
According to Moshood, Idris had delegated some of his subordinates to represent him before the lawmakers, an option the senators strongly rejected, mandating Mr Idris’ appearance in person rather than through a surrogate.
Mr Idris said he informed Mr Saraki in a warning letter on Tuesday that he would not be honouring Senate’s invitation again on Wednesday. He said he saw Wednesday’s attack on his person by the senators as “deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting with mischievous motives to hand-twist” him “to pervert the end of justice in a felonious and serious offenses” relating to Senator Melaye.