The Senate on Wednesday took the unusual step of passing a vote of no confidence on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris for not honouring invitations put to him on three occasions.
The senate took the decision after about an hour of closed door session.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki announced the decision of the senate during plenary.
“The Senate, in a closed session, deliberated on the non-appearance of the IGP to the Senate in plenary after series of invitation.
“The Senate noted that this amounted to a great disrespect to the institution and constituted authority.
“The Senate also notes that his earlier refusal to appear before its investigative committee was overruled by a court of competent jurisdiction just in April of this year.
” The senate, therefore, views his persistent refusal as a great danger to our democracy.
“Therefore, the senate resolved to declare the IGP as an enemy of our democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.
“The leadership of the Senate was also mandated to look into the matter for further necessary action.”
Earlier, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia-APC) condemned the action of the IGP, saying it was a disrespect for the legislature.
“Democracies die and it dies in two ways. It either dies abruptly or in bits and what is happening today in Nigeria is that democracy is dying in bits.
“It dies when people abuse governmental powers and all that we have seen today with the conduct of the Chief Law Officer of the Federation is nothing but an abuse of power.
“He has no respect for this institution and that is now a fact. There is actually no way we can dress it to say we should give him some more time.
” We can say that what he is doing is anything but an abuse of this institution, the federation and himself even in the eyes of the international community.
“This morning I watched someone who was a Police Officer in Britain and what he said was germaine to what we are saying here.
“He said if the Chief Law Officer cannot obey the law of the land how do you now say to other people who are miscreants should obey the law,” he said.
According to him, unless a concrete decision is taken by the senate, the disrespect for the National Assembly would become widespread.
Abaribe said, “I want to agree with some of our colleagues who have said that we should go into a close door session and agree whether we will accept this insult or not.
” I want to appeal to us to remember that if you do not deal with this abuse of power all of us are going to regret it because there is nothing to stop anybody else from doing what it likes in this country,” he said.
The Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan said he made efforts to reach the IGP for 48 hours but was not successful.
“Personally, I made attempts to call his line and I sent text messages that he should call me as soon as he was able to see my messages.
“Clearly, the IG is not here. I think this is very unusual and very unfortunate.
“I personally feel that public officers should do what is in the interest of the public and where any public officer cannot do what is in the interest of the public, there is no need for such an officer to continue to occupy that kind of position.
‘’This institution is now at a crossroad on this. I believe that a decision has to be taken on the way forward.
“I do not think it will make any further sense to continue to extend invitation until the Senate takes a different decision to make the situation better,” he said.
Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba) said it was a sad moment for democracy.
He added that the IGP’s action was inexcusable, unacceptable, and condemnable.
He called for immediate action to protect the institution of the National Assembly.
“This senate needs to take very serious action on the way forward. We cannot stand this embarrassment any longer.
“I will suggest we have a closed session. I am moving for us to executive session to take very serious consideration on this matter. ” This is a national disgrace.
Isah Missau (APC-Bauchi) said the IGP’s action was not just disrespect for the Parliament but also the President of the country who appointed him.
He said, ‘’I recall I made mention that there is problem with the leadership of the Police. On official capacity, there is no any person here that is not bigger than the IG constitutionally. Anybody here can invite the IG officially, because by the Constitution, every senator is bigger than the office of the IG.
“What the IG is doing is not against the Senate, it is against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because he is the leader today, of this country.
“If an appointee of the President will refuse to honour invitation of an institution, it is unfortunate.
“I think it is left for this government to decide if they have an appointee that will rubbish the image of the country.
“I think it is much unfortunate and we will have to do something, the image of the president, the image of country and the image of our democratic environment that is the institution of the parliament,” he said.