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Friday 1 June 2018

Police IG, Ibrahim Idris tells Federal High court to declare the Senate's insistence his appearance as 'illegal'

The Inspector of General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to declare as unconstitutional, the Senate’s insistence that he must appear for a legislative hearing in person.

He insisted in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/457/2018 and filed on April 30, 2018, that his personal appearance before the Senate was unnecessary because the issues for which he was invited were not personal.

The IGP, through his lawyer, Alex Izinyon (SAN), who filed the suit on his behalf, joined the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as defendants in his suit.

He noted that if he was to personally honour every invitation sent to the office of the IGP, there would be no time to attend to his main responsibilities. The Senate had in a letter dated April 25, 2018, invited the IGP to appear before it in relation to the purported inhuman treatment of Senator Dino Melaye and the killings in many parts of the country.

The IGP, on April 26, refused to appear before the Senate but delegated the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) and Commissioner of Police, Kogi State to represent him at the Senate. But the Senate refused to grant an audience to the two representatives, insisting that the IGP must personally appear for the legislative hearing.

The upper legislative chamber then rescheduled the meeting for May 2 and again directed that the IGP must honour its invitation in person. The IGP, in a supporting affidavit accompanying his suit, said his action of delegating his subordinates to appear before the Senate was backed by law.

He said under the Constitution and Police Act, he had the power to delegate responsibilities, including directing some of his subordinates to represent him wherever he was invited, more so that his choice of the DIG (Operations) and CP, Kogi State was on the basis that they were conversant with the issues for which he was invited.

Both Saraki and the Senate, in a counter-affidavit, accused the IGP of using the court to shield himself from being scrutinised by the legislature. They stated that the IGP’s representatives were denied audience because of “the weighty issues which require clarification as they touched on the very soul of our national existence and in order to ensure fruitful and meaningful deliberations.”

They prayed the court to reject the plaintiff’s prayers and dismiss the suit. Justice John Tsoho on Thursday adjourned till June 29 for the hearing of the suit.

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