The Senate Panel on Wednesday vowed to arrest the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, if he does not appear before the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating allegations of abuse of office and corruption against him.
While addressing newsmen, Senator Francis Alimikhena, who is the chairman of the panel, said his panel has received a letter from the IGP’s lawyer, Alex Iziyon, asserting that the matter is already in court and as such the IGP his client could not appear before the committee.
He, however, said that the committee has begun the investigation before the IGP quickly went to court to stop the investigation of the panel.
According to Senator Francis, he said the IGP was invited to appear before them on the 16th October 2017 in order for him to respond to allegations made against him by Senator Isah Hamman Misau, but that he failed to appear, which the panelists are not happy with.
According to the Edo born Senator, he added that the IGP rather than appearing before the Committee wrote to the committee through his lawyer, Alex Iziyon, alluding them that the matter was already in court.
Alimikhena said that the IGP made it clear that it will not appear before the panel, but the Senator added that no person which includes the court will stop them from carrying out their constitutional duties.
According to Alimikhena, he said if the IGP fails to appear on November 7th, 2017, the committee would invoke Section 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to compel him to appear.
Quoting Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, he averred that the IGP; “will be summoned again and must appear next Tuesday, 7th of November.
Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, reads thus: “For the purposes of any investigation under section 88 of this Constitutional and subject to the provisions thereof, the Senate or the House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with section 62 of this Constitution shall have power to procure all such evidence, written or oral, direct or circumstantial, as it may think necessary or desirable, and examine all persons as witnesses whose evidence may be material or relevant to the subject matter
“Require such evidence to be given on oath; summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place or produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, and examine him as a witness and require him to produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, subject to all just exceptions.
“Issue a warrant to compel the attendance of any person who, after having been summoned to attend, fails, refuses or neglects to do so and does not excuse such failure, refusal or neglect to the satisfaction of the House or the committee in question, and order him to pay all costs which may have been occasioned in compelling his attendance or by reason of his failure, refusal or neglect to obey the summons, and also to impose such fine as may be prescribed for any such failure, refused or neglect; and any fine so imposed shall be recoverable in the same manner as a fine imposed by a court of law.
“A summons or warrant issued under this section may be served or executed by any member of the Nigeria Police Force or by any person authorized in that behalf by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may require.”
Alimikhena said: “We invited the IGP to appear before our committee. This morning (yesterday), we got a letter from his lawyer, Alex Iziyon, that he will not appear before this committee. He said the IGP has already gone to court and appearing will be sub-judiced.
“It is our duty as a parliament to investigate the allegations raised. This committee was set up before they went to court. We cannot be stopped. No court can stop us from carrying out our duties. There is a separation of powers. No court can stop us.
“We will invite him again next Tuesday. There are issues about virement in the 2017 budget which Misau also raised. We need him to respond to these allegations. We will invite him again and he will appear before us. If he fails to appear, we will invoke Section 89 of the 1999 constitution, as amended.”