IG Of Police Appears Before Senate Panel, Refuses to Answer Questions
In response to a senate summons over allegations made against him by Senator Isah Misau, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris on Wednesday appeared before a panel set up to probe him.
The police boss who appeared in company of his lawyer, Mr Alex Izinyon SAN, however managed to force the panel to adjourn its sitting after refusing to answer questions posed to him by the lawmakers.
Speaking through Mr Izinyon, a senior lawyer, the IGP argued that the hearing of the senate panel would amount to subjudice as he had gone to court to challenge Misau on the allegations and that Misau had been arraigned before a court.
While displaying court documents to support his claim, the IGP said he had only decided to honour the invitation in compliance with constitutional provisions that make it mandatory for him to respond to the Senate’s summons.
When the chairman of the senate panel, Senator Francis Alimikhena argued that the courts lacked the powers to stop the Senate from performing its constitutional duties, the police boss countered that the actions of the committee were against the Standing Rules of the Senate, citing Order 53(5) of the Rule to buttress his argument.
The Order states: “Reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending in such a way as might in the opinion of the President of the Senate, prejudice the interest of parties thereto.”
The IGP also stressed that the panel’s insistence on making references to the issues already in court was against Order 41 (7) and 53 (5) of the Senate Standing Orders 2 (15) as amended.
Following the refusal of the police boss to answer the questions posed to him, some members of the committee urged the chairman to adjourn the proceedings to allow the panel review the documents submitted by the IGP.
Senator Alimikhena gave in to the request and adjourned the hearing indefinitely but not without accusing the courts of interfering with the duties of the senate. He is quoted by The Nation to have said:
“Coming here is your duty. When you are summoned by the parliament, you must come. It is a not a favour. I want to tell you that the issue of virement is the function of the parliament. It is not something that should be handled by the court. I want to tell you this committee came up before you went to court. The court is interfering with our committee. If we need you again, you will respond.
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