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Senate declares Ibrahim Idris “enemy of democracy”, unfit to hold any office

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The Nigerian Senate has passed a vote of no confidence on Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police (IGP), after he refused to appear before the lawmakers on Wednesday.

This is the third time Idris will be calling the bluff of the upper legislative chamber. The invitation to the IGP was for him to explain to the lawmakers the measures being taken by the Nigeria Police Force to check the incessant killings by herdsmen in the North East.

Idris was also expected to explain the case of Dino Melaye, Kogi State senator who was declared wanted by the police for allegedly providing arms to suspected armed robbers and kidnappers.

But the IGP refused to honour the senate invitation, rather he sent a Deputy Inspector General to represent him.

At Wednesday’s plenary, Enyinnaya Abaribe, an Abia State Senator, said the refusal of the IGP to appear before the legislators smacks of blatant disrespect.

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“What is happening today in Nigeria shows that democracy is dying bit by bit and also shows the abuse of power and office by the IG. What the IG is doing in the eyes of the world, shows that there is no respect for the law,” Abaribe said.

Also contributing to the debate, Ahmad Lawan, Senate Majority Leader, said it is very unusual for a public servant to act like this.

“I have never seen this before anywhere in the world, we need to take a decision because this affects security in the entire country,” Lawan said

Bukola Saraki, Senate President, said the IGP’s action is “a great danger to our democracy”.

“The Senate noted this as disrespectful to the institution and constitutional authority and that the refusal of the IG to appear before an investigative committee as also ruled by a court of competent jurisdiction  is a great danger to our democracy,” Saraki said.

“Therefore the Senate resolves to declare the IGP as an enemy of democracy and not fit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.”

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Saraki added that the senate leadership will look into the matter for further actions. It is not clear, however, what other actions the legislators intend to take.

Efforts to contact Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, spokesperson of the senate, were not successful as calls to his mobile phone line were not answered and text messages were not replied.

The implications of the senate’s actions against IGP Idris is yet to be seen, especially given that nothing had come out of a similar rejection by the lawmakers of Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the EFCC.

Twice Magu had been rejected by the senate, but President Buhari has refused to remove or replace him.

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