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Ibrahim Idris … The IGP that disrespects the executive, legislature, judiciary and remains unshaken
Ibrahim Idris, the current Inspector General of Police (IGP), will go down in history as one of the luckiest, or perhaps most powerful man to ever head the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). Or how does one describe an IGP that disobeyed orders from the three arms of government, the executive, legislature and judiciary, and still escape reprimand?
Idris will be two years as IGP by June this year, but many say it is a wonder he has retained his office for this long, given the numerous controversies that have characterised his tenure.
‘LAND CLEARING’ NEEDED TO USHER IDRIS IN
Idris’ appointment to the post of IGP was in itself quite controversial. He was just an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) at the time, and there was the rank of Deputy Inspector General (DIG), before the IG.
Reports at the time said many of his superior as well as contemporaries in the police were compulsorily retired to make way for him. In all, seven DIGs and almost 30 AIGs were shown the exit door, just so that Idris could assume power as the IG of police.
“You know we have over 30 AIGs and most if not all would definitively go because they were senior to the Acting IG,” a source at the Force Headquarters told Premium Times at the time.
IDRIS FLOUTS BUHARI’S ORDERS
In the wake of the 2018 New Year Day massacre by suspected Fulani Herdsmen in Benue State, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered IGP Idris to relocate to Benue State to “restore law and order, prevent further loss of lives and forestall the crisis from escalating and spreading in the state”.
In obedience to the order, Jimoh Moshood, Police Public Relations Officer, said Idris was “moving into Benue state with additional Five (5) Units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) making a total of Ten (10) Units of PMF deployed in the State which is in addition to other Police formations on the ground in the State before the crisis”.
What Moshood did not tell Nigerians was that Idris did not intend to spend more than 24 hours in Benue State.
When Buhari was informed that his orders was not carried out to the latter, he said he did not know. “I’m not aware that the IG did not spend 24 hours in the state as directed by me, I am getting to know in this meeting,” Buhari said when he visited Benue State in March.
A day later, Idris was sighted at the State House. Journalists, thinking the IGP was summoned to explain why he flouted presidential orders, went to town with the story that Buhari had queried Idris.
But Moshood, the police spokesman, went on air to clarify that his boss was never queried. “Anybody that said the IGP was queried by the president should bring the copy of the query, let us display it,” he said.
IDRIS FLOUTS COURT ORDERS
On January 15, 2018, Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, declared the continued sealing of the headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) as “illegal”, ordering that the premises be “immediately” unsealed.
Tsoho’s judgement followed a similar judgement by Gabriel Kolawale, also of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in 2017.
Both court judgements ordered the police to vacate the PCN headquarters and allow the group to take back control of it. But IGP Idris called the court’s bluff.
Even when the House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Petitions intervened and urged IGP Idris to obey court orders and move his men out of the PCN headquarters, he still refused. When they invited him, he refused to show up.
The police is still occupying the PCN headquarters until today.
IDRIS FLOUTS SENATE SUMMONS
The killings in Benue State continued unhindered; the killers apparently emboldened by the obvious powerlessness of the security agencies. Not only were ordinary local residents killed, even policemen, soldiers, traditional rulers and clergymen were not spared.
So the senate summoned Idris, as the head of the country’s police force, to appear before it and explain what the police was doing to bring the situation under control. Though some reports say the senate summons had more to do with the travails of Dino Melaye at the hand of the police, than it had to do with the killings in Benue.
But Idris sent Joshak Habila, a deputy inspector general, to represent him at the senate, having accompanied President Buhari to Bauchi State. The senate refused to listen to Habila and fixed another date for Idris to appear in person. Yet again, he failed to honour the invitation.
Reacting to the development, Bukola Saraki, Senate President, said he was not surprised at the IGP’s conducts. “No IG has ever refused to appear before the Senate since we started practicing democracy,” Saraki said.
“I don’t think that has happened before. But we must know these actions are danger to our democracy.
“Again, we cannot say it is just to us, because the President told us that he told him (IGP) to go to Benue and the man refused to go to Benue and he is sitting there and he is doing this.”
Many Nigerians took to twitter to comment on the development:
This IG disobeyed the president
This IG failed to appear before the senate twice
This IG has been accused of making N10bn monthly from bribe
This IG has been accused of romancing female cops
When the head is rotten…
— Miz Cazorla (@MizCazorla1) May 2, 2018
If IGP can disobey the president who appointed him, then SENATE invitation is nothing to him.#DemocracyInNigeriaUnderThreat
— Bolanle. Cole. Esq 🆘️.🇳🇬 (@BolanleCole) May 3, 2018
Wondering how an IG of Police can flout the direct order of the President & Oga is unable to discipline him? Well, IGP Idris was in charge in Kano during election 2015 (remember Kano with the 1.9million votes? Same Kano where State REC was burned to death…) try sack him nah..
— OnyeyanaChiyakwu (@presidentnm) May 3, 2018
Buhari sends IGP Idris to Benue. He promptly ignores the President's order@NGRSenate summons IGP Idris twice. He shuns them twice
— The Son of Man (@olufemisp) May 2, 2018