The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has given reasons why he did not honour the summons of the Senate.
Mr Idris, in a statement by the police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, also cautioned the Senate not to trivialise the travails of one of its members, Dino Melaye.
The Senate asked Mr Idris to appear before it on Wednesday to explain the treatment of Dino Melaye, a senator who was arrested by the police.
Although the police chief did not appear, he sent a deputy inspector general police, who was however refused by the lawmakers from representing his boss.
Mr Melaye is currently in intensive care at the National Hospital after he allegedly jumped off a police vehicle while being taken to Kogi State after his arrest by the police.
The police accuse the senator of criminal conspiracy and funding criminals who allegedly confessed when arrested.
Mr Melaye has denied the allegations and says he wants to be tried in Abuja because he believes the police and the Kogi State Government have a plot to kill him in the state.
Although Mr Melaye, who represents Kogi West, is of the same party, APC, as the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, both are political adversaries.
In his statement late on Friday, Mr Moshood said the police would always obey the laws.
“The Nigeria Police Force is a law abiding organization and holds the Senate and its leadership in high esteem,” he said. “However the Force wishes to impress on the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria not to personalise or trivialise the criminal offenses (Criminal Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms and other sundry offenses) indicting Sen. Dino Melaye from confessions of two (2) suspected kidnappers and Armed Robbers namely: Kabiru Saidu a.k.a Osama and Nuhu Salisu a.k.a Small; but should allow the rule of law and justice to prevail.
Mr Moshood said Mr Idris was on an official assignment in Bauchi on the day he was summoned by the Senate; and, therefore, sent his deputy to represent him as stated in police laws.
“The functions, duties and responsibilities of the Inspector General of Police as listed in Section 215 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can also be carried out as mentioned in section 312 (1) of the Police Act and Regulation by a senior officer of the Force of the Rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police and Assistant Inspector General of Police who if permitted by the Inspector General of Police to act on his behalf or represent him in official capacity at any function, event or programme within and outside Nigeria can do so in consonant with the provisions of the Police Act and Regulation.
“It is on the basis of the above that while the Inspector General of Police is on an official assignment in Bauchi State that he delegated the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations to represent him and honour the invitation of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria in respect of the felonious offenses for which Sen. Dino Melaye was taken into Police custody, investigated and to be arraigned in the Federal High Court, Lokoja without further delay.
“Consequently, the general public are hereby implored to note that the Inspector General of Police acted rightly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Police Act and Regulation and other extant laws by delegating the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations to represent him at the Senate, National Assembly today 26th April, 2018 to present the Police report, actions and findings in a case of Criminal Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Prohibited Firearms and other sundry offenses indicting Senator Dino Melaye.”
The statement was silent on whether or not Mr Idris would appear before the Senate on May 2, the day the lawmakers fixed for him after rejecting his representative.
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