After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House on Friday, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has indicated his willingness to appear before the Senate.
Mr. Idris, however, told journalists that his meeting was to update President Muhammadu Buhari on the security situation across the country.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the closed door meeting with the president, the police chief said he might appear before the Senate ad-hoc committee probing corruption allegations against him. The committee is headed by the Senate Deputy Whip, Francis Alimikhena.
The Senate had served Mr. Idris an invitation letter on October 16 to appear before the Alimikhena Committee on November 1. The police chief, however, failed to honour the invitation.
The Senate committee on Wednesday ordered Mr. Idris to appear before it next Tuesday.
Mr. Alimikhena told journalists in Abuja that the committee received a letter from the police chief’s lawyer, Alex Iziyon, informing the committee that “it would be subjudice if the Inspector General of Police appears before the Senate committee on the same issue that is before the competent court of law.”
The police chief had filed a suit in court seeking to halt the Senate probe, after a senator, Isah Misau, accused him of corruption and abuse of office.
On Wednesday, the Senate committee threatened to order the arrest of Mr. Idris should he fail to appear next Tuesday; although implementing such order would be virtually impossible as it is the police headed by Mr. Idris that would be required to implement it.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday criticised Mr. Idris’s refusal to appear before the committee.
“As the chief law enforcing officer, we will expect that he should know what the law is and he should know that there have been many judgements on this. It is clearly stated that he cannot stop the Senate from appearing and doing its job,” Mr. Saraki said.
However, after meeting with Mr. Buhari on Friday, the police chief stated that for the sake of having respect for the National Assembly, he might honour the Senate’s invitation. He said he was awaiting advice from the police’s legal team on the matter.
“These are legal issues. We are discussing with our legal team, obviously if there is need we are going to appear for the sake of having respect for the Senate, I will appear before them.”
On the outcome of his meeting with the president, Mr. Idris said he briefed him on the efforts of the police to check criminal activities such as kidnapping, armed robbery and other social vices.
According to him, he also updated the president on the measures being taken to ensure a successful and peaceful governorship election in Anambra.
“Obviously, I am here as usual to discuss with the commander in chief on the security challenges we are having and how we will face these security challenges adequately.
“The security challenges are, obviously, you know we are having elections in Anambra state and we are having challenges in various parts of the country especially some of these issues of kidnapping and these are things I discussed with the President, and the measures taken to address them squarely,’’ said the I-GP.
He revealed that water boats, helicopters and about 21,000 police officers would be deployed for the smooth conduct of the election.
“We are deploying a lot of police officers, almost about 21,000 police officers to be able to provide adequate security in the Anambra election.
“We are deploying our water boats to take care of the water ways, we are deploying our helicopters to take care of the aerial surveillance of the areas and we are deploying our conventional police men and special police units to take care of situations on ground.
“And by the grace of God we are going to have a successful and peaceful election in Anambra state,’’ Mr. Idris said.
The police chief added that the Force Headquarters in Abuja had deployed special police unit to patrol the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway with a view to checking the menace of armed robbers and kidnappers along the route.