Nigeria: “Don’t protect criminals, Police tells Senate
Abuja, may 10, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has said the Senate should not harbour criminal elements within its fold or condone criminality.
The Police also said it considers the resolution of the Senate to declare IGP Idris Ibrahim an enemy of democracy as blackmail and witch-hunting.
A statement by the spokesman of the Police, ACP Jimoh Moshood late Wednesday night added that the Senate resolution was unfortunate and mischievous.
He said the Nigeria Police Force as a law abiding organization will continue to hold the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria in high esteem but wishes to impress on the Senate not to harbour criminal elements among its fold or condone criminality.
He said, “it is urgently imperative that the Nigeria Police Force respond to this resolution of the Senate which is a deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting, unfortunate and mischievous.”
He said in accordance with the extant laws in Nigeria, the functions, duties and responsibilities of the IGP 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.
He added that, it is on the basis of the above that when on the 25th of April, 2018, the Senate invited the Inspector-General of Police to appear before it on the 26th of April 2018, in respect of the felonious offenses for which Sen. Dino Melaye was taken into Police custody, investigated and arraigned in a Court of Competent Jurisdiction in Lokoja, but because the Inspector-General of Police was on official assignment with the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria to Bauchi on same date, he delegated the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Department of Operations, Assistant Inspector-Generals of Police and some Commissioners of Police conversant with the matter to brief the Senate.”
He said, “The delegated Officers went with a brief of the Inspector-General of Police on the matter to the Senate to enable the Senate appreciate the issues raised to guide their resolutions on the matter but the Senate refused to listen to the Officers delegated by the Inspector-General of Police in line with his powers recognized by both the Constitution and the Police Act and Regulations.”
Moshood said,”the Senate again on the 26th of April 2018 wrote the Inspector-General of Police re-inviting him to appear before the Senate in person on the 2nd of May, 2018 but this time around the IGP was on official assignment to Birnin-Gwari Area of Kaduna State in company of the General Officer Commanding, One Division, Nigerian Army Kaduna, Major General Mohammed Mohammed to attend to some very serious security matters of National Importance.”
“But he promptly delegated the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Research and Planning, Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commissioners of Police to represent him and brief the Senate on the same subject matter but the Senate again refused to accord them audience insisting that the Inspector-General of Police must appear in person.”Moshood said.
He added that, “On the 8th of May, 2018, the IGP sent a letter to the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria signed by the Commissioner of Police, Legal and Prosecution Department, explaining why he would not be appearing before the Senate on the 9th of May, 2018 due to legal restraint as a result of pending cases before the courts filed: (i) by Senator Dino Melaye against the IGP and the Nigeria Police Force in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in suit No. CV/1610/18 slated for hearing on the 11th day of May, 2018.”
Also, “by the Inspector General of Police against the Senate in the Federal High Court, Abuja in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/457/2018 adjourned to 31st May, 2018 for hearing.
Moshood noted that, It is on record that consequent on the confession of criminal offences indicting Senator Dino Melaye by the principal suspect KABIRU SAIDU a.k.a OSAMA “31 YRS”, The Nigeria Police Force, sent a letter of investigation activities/invitation dated 2nd March, 2018 addressed to the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria informing and requesting him to release Senator Dino Melaye to report to Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Command on the 7th of March, 2018 to answer to criminal offences of Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms levelled against him.
He said this was to enable the Police Investigation Team carryout a discreet and thorough investigation into the case. But Senator Dino Melaye refused to honour the Police invitation.
Moshood said it is important to correct the impression created in the minds of the people from the Senate’s resolution that the IGP is not and will not be an enemy to democracy.
He said it is factual and verifiable that Senator Dino Melaye was discharged and certified fit to stand trial by the National Hospital, Abuja before he was arraigned in Chief Magistrate Courts in Wuse, Abuja and Lokoja.
He further said, “the IGP and the Nigeria Police Force will not be deterred by blackmail from any individual or group no matter how highly placed from the enforcement of Law and Order and ensuring that the Rule of Law prevails.
No matter whose Ox is gored.”
He said the Nigeria Police Force, therefore, owes no apology to any individual or groups in its effort to ensure preservation of law and order, supremacy of the law of the land, and make sure that all Nigerians are subject to the same law, no matter what their position is in the society.
Moshood said the public should disregard the resolution of the Senate on the IGP as a deliberate blackmail, witch-hunting and mischievously aimed at casting aspersions on the hard earned integrity of the IGP and the Nigeria Police Force.
He said the Force will not be intimidated by any individual, groups or institution, constituent or otherwise to abdicate from its constitutional responsibilities of protection of lives and property and due enforcement of the rule of law.