By Bala Ibrahim
IGP Ibrahim Idris has joined the shopping list of public officers who in one way or the other, are in conflict with the selfish interests of the senate and as usual, fall under the threat of order of arrest.
It may sound laughable that the Chief Police Officer may be ordered arrested, simply because he has a matter in court, which the Senate wants to look at concurrently and which he says is in contravention of the law, but looking at the antecedents of this particular Senate, one may not have the luxury of such laughter, but be compelled to cry, due to their regular display of comedy.
When the Police and the Police Service Commission set up panels and invited Misau to appear, he refused, saying the Police cannot superintend in a case they have interest. They advised the IGP to go to court and seek redress in a neutral ground.
Now the Senate has set up a Committee on the allegations of the same Senator Misau, who is one of their own. They want the IGP to appear and ignore the court, without regards to their earlier position of, “You can’t be a judge in your own case”. NIJA.
The 8th Assembly, which has the highest number of docked officials that include the Senate President, also happens to be the most scandalous in the history of democratic Nigeria, when it comes to indiscriminate issuance of empty threats for the arrest of public officers.
When the wife of Bukola Saraki was invited by the then EFCC boss Ibrahim Lamurde, to answer on charges of corrupt enrichment, Lamurde was ordered to appear before the Senate or get arrested.
When Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General of Customs impounded some vehicles without import duty that were allegedly linked to the Senate President Bukola Saraki, he was asked to appear before the Senate in uniform or get arrested.
The acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu and the DG SSS have similar arrests threats hanging on their necks, all from the same Senate of Bukola Saraki, simply because they are discharging their constitutionally assigned duties in manners that went against the selfish interests of some senators.
The CCT Chairman Danladi Umar was once ordered to appear before the Senate for daring to dock the senate president or get arrested. Even as former President, Obasanjo was once threatened with an arrest by this very Senate, for calling them a bunch of rogues.
I don’t know who advised them against executing the threat. At the last count, this particular Senate had issued no less than 10 threats of arrests on serving public officers, but always on self-serving purposes, that are clearly designed to give courage to corruption.
The irony is that when it suits these set of “legislooters”, they are always quick in court to quash or frustrate their trials, but never willing to respect other people’s rights, even where the scenario is similar. It is an open secret, that quite a number of the members of the National Assembly, including former Governors, had been arraigned before one or more Judges, for alleged corruption but for some reasons, the trials are either deliberately prolonged to frustration, or the members are illicitly set free in manners that lend credence to speculated connivance to kill the fight against corruption.
When a matter is in court or under judicial consideration, it is prohibited from public discussion anywhere, including the Senate. Lawyers call it sub judice and it is clearly stated in the standing rules of the Senate and the case of IGP Ibrahim Idris cannot be treated differently.
Bala Ibrahim writes from Abuja